New at Sanford House – Equine Gestalt Coaching!


The therapist is in – Baco one of the therapy horses at One Neigh at a Time – Photo by Kim Beer


Sanford House is pleased to announce a new addition to our program: Equine Gestalt Coaching Method (EGCM). EGCM, was developed by psychotherapist and horsewoman Melisa Pearce. It utilizes the horse as an active partner in the coaching and healing process. Sanford House has teamed with Kathy O’Connor of One Neigh at a Time. Kathy is a certified EGC Method Recovery Coach and equine coaching is conducted at her ranch in Alto, Michigan.


What is EGCM ?

EGCM is a coaching method designed to isolate and target impediments to happiness and success. Through experiential interaction, the coach and their equine partner assist in clearing away negative energy. This process seeks to change what isn’t working for each person, allowing them to achieve their full potential. Melisa Pearce says, “The integrative approach of the equine’s interaction combined with positive coaching, somatic awareness, guidance and Gestalt methodology assist the client in examining their life and choices made with a focus on designing a positive future.”


Sanford House founders, Rae and David Green visited One Neigh at a Time, and had the first Sanford House EGCM experience. The ranch is located in beautiful Alto, Michigan. It’s the perfect place for Sanford House clients to become aware of what is heavy in their hearts, release it to their horse and coach in a safe environment, and move toward a successful, empowered life. Kathy O’Connor says, “Horses bring a gentleness to the recovery process — they guide with quiet energy that resonates into your soul. Horses do not know what shame is — and they can show you how to look at your life through open eyes without judgment.”



Rae horse

Rae Green with equine coach – Baco.


equine barn sober therapy

Our coach awaits in the barn arena….


equine therapy

David Green in the ring with Holly…




Sanford Behavioral Health is a residential and outpatient facility located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Sanford offers excellence in evidence-based practice models in a home-like, restorative setting. Our clinicians, supported by our medical team, focus on resolving the underlying issues that often cause substance use, such as trauma, unhealthy relationships, co-occurring disorders and isolation. Programs include both in-person and telehealth: residential, day programs, intensive outpatient, outpatient, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), education and relapse prevention classes, one-on-one and family therapy, and alumni and family support groups. At Sanford, we want to inspire you to find your inner grit, rekindle your interests and engage your passion.