Proven Strategies

woman holding a brown and white puppy

The Best Friends Podcast Episode 131

Managing our mental health
October 6th, 2022

The field of animal welfare can be physically and mentally grueling. At times, it may feel like there is no end in sight with so many requests for help. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, not every story has a happy ending.

The data backs up our feelings about how hard this work is on our mental health. For example, a 2015 study showed the suicide rates for animal welfare workers to be the highest among all professions - including law enforcement.

Thankfully, there are effective strategies to help you manage the challenging emotions that inevitably come with doing this work.

Elizabeth Fagan is a psychotherapist who works with companies and nonprofits, including animal welfare agencies, to help their staff manage trauma experienced while on the job. She joins us this week to help us understand more about how the rigors of animal welfare work impact us and what we can do about it.

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Elizabeth Fagan LCSW

Elizabeth Fagan

Elizabeth S. Fagan LCSW is a psychotherapist in Manhattan with over 25 years of experience helping people to create the lives they want. She is an Epona Approved Instructor of Equine Experiential Therapy.

Elizabeth holds a B.A. from Brown University, an M.A. from Columbia University and is a graduate of Manhattan Institute for Psychoanalysis. She was a corporate trainer and wellness specialist for Sony Pictures, Bear Stearns and a regular columnist at Glamour magazine, focusing on happiness in interpersonal relationships.

A gifted therapist, Elizabeth understood early on that meaningful change required experiences beyond talk therapy. From a lifelong love and respect for the natural world, Elizabeth knew well the healing power of our encounters with animals.

In 1997 Elizabeth was introduced to equine therapy and immediately recognized its ability to help transform people’s lives. She has been a student of this work ever since learning different approaches from several leaders in the field. She most recently completed an apprenticeship with Epona LLC , based on the work of Linda Kohanov, author of The Tao of Equus. In 2010 photographer Bob Tabor asked Elizabeth to co-author his book Horse Whispering.

Elizabeth splits her time between Manhattan and the Bergen County Equestrian Center in Leonia, NJ. Learn more about Elizabeth and the services she offers on her website.

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