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Marley’s Mission Visited by International Trainers

NEWTON TOWNSHIP -- A nonprofit in Lackawanna County that uses horses to provide therapy to children got a visit this week from the "rock stars" of the horse therapy world.

Marley's Mission was founded in 2010. It's been located at a farm near Clarks Summit for four of those years.

This week, it will really be put on the map of fully-certified equine-assisted psychotherapy providers.

The method is a mouthful, but trainers from the international training body for horse therapy say it works. Certified therapists work as a team with a four-legged therapist to provide emotional healing.

"I believe that their instincts and being able to read situations and people is very authentic. And as people, I think we lack that being authentic to others, and so I think horses are great role models," said Mark Lytle, Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning Association.

This is the first time the trainers from Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning Association, or EAGALA, visited Marley's Mission, which specifically treats children free of charge.

"For him to be here to witness what we've created is quite amazing, him and Ulla both. They fly around the world and they do these trainings, and to have a private training with our treatment teams is pretty cool," said April Kemp, Marley's Mission.

Marley's Mission therapists traveled to training sessions in the past. Now, they are learning how to best interact with clients and the horses at their own facility.

"It's tremendous. It's a very unique and valuable opportunity for children and families in this area to get some real, lasting, effective help with mental health issues, with family problems, family dynamics, divorces, abuse, tragic losses and events that might happen in a family's life," said Ulla Frederiksen, EAGALA.

Getting put on the map is just another step in Marley's Mission.