By Michelle McLaughlin
One of the most powerful therapeutic experiences another human being can achieve is through the power of animals. It is well known that in the animal kingdom, horses are one of the most intelligent and intuitive species on the planet. At Miracle Ranch, a five-acre compound outside of Palm Springs, amazing discoveries and healing occur without a word being spoken. Dozens of kids, couples, singles, veterans, parents, families, cancer patients and businesses have achieved remarkable breakthroughs through licensed therapists and interactions with the horses during retreats and therapy sessions.
Miracle Ranch is the brainchild of licensed therapist Dr. Heather Gaedt, The Millionaire Psychologist, and her Sober Coach husband, Aaron Smith. Miracle Ranch is about a thirty minute drive from Palm Desert in the wooded hills. Dr. Gaedt and Coach Aaron have successfully operated the ranch with incredible results. According to Dr. Gaedt, the real therapists are the Arabian stallion, American pony, Quarter Horse and Alpacas for those who have fear of horses.
Dr. Gaedt has extensive experience working as a Psychologist, with a variety of clinical and managerial experience at centers such as Betty Ford Center, UCLA Staff and Faculty Counseling Center, Michael’s House Treatment Center in Palm Springs and her own practice, The Millionaire Psychologist. Dr. Gaedt employs her academia training with her certified EAGALA equine training to help clients gain self-understanding and emotional growth.
“Have you ever watched a movie where a horse drags its owner to safety or the countless times John Wayne and the Lone Ranger relied on their horse for support? Or cried by watching a trainer ‘whisper’ to its horse?” states Dr. Gaedt. “There is something magical and powerful about horses that humans cannot explain, and we have seen time and again the miracle of horses helping human beings recover from life’s traumas.
Dr. Gaedt often incorporates Equine Assisted Psychotherapy into her successful private practice. She finds it to be a good fit with her clientele who prefer non-traditional therapy sessions. The Millionaire Psychologist brings VIP concierge counseling and customized treatment plans to a client’s home or private location.
Coach Smith is an Equine Specialist, Addiction Specialist, Sober Coach and Spiritual Advisor. He has been working in the recovery field for several years. He has vast personal and professional experience and knowledge working with addicts and alcoholics. His proven specialties include working with men and adolescents who have substance abuse and/or process addictions and grief and loss. He is a professional horseman having spent his entire life around horses. Adding Equine Assisted Psychotherapy at Miracle Ranch was the fulfillment of a lifetime goal of using horses to assist others in their growth.
“Our clients have often times received more benefits in one session than from years of therapy,” said Coach Smith. “Dr. Gaedt and I have cried – along with our clients – from the power of what a horse can reveal. Miracles really do happen here – we have seen relationships mend and people get sober, while others have found find their life purpose, and much more.”
The technical term for the therapeutic services offered at the ranch is Equine Assisted Psychotherapy [EAP], which is sanctioned and certified by leading non-profit institutions (EAGALA). The extensive proven benefits of equine assisted psychotherapy includes accelerated healing abilities, increased coping mechanisms, improved communications skills, expanded self-awareness, and much more. Miracle Ranch is one of the over 700 EAGALA certified facilities across the United States, and is the only one in the immediate area.
One- and two-hour sessions are available, as well as retreats (with insurance supported session options). Therapeutic work is done in an arena providing a safe and comfortable environment. To contact Dr. Heather Gaedt at Miracle Ranch Equine Therapy please call (760) 834-1586. For more information please visit www.MiracleHorseRanch.com or www.themillionairepsychologist.com.