Programme Director – Dare to Live

Faculty Tutor, Lecturer, Supervisor L5 EFHD & L6 EFPT

and Advanced IFEEL Facilitator

Mary-Joy is a member of the IFEEL Qualifications Faculty and fulfills the roles of tutor, supervisor and assessor. She joined us as a student in 2014. She originally qualified as an IFEEL EFHD facilitator for Individuals, then Groups and later qualified as an Equine Facilitated Psychotraumatologist. She is also a Brainspotting practitioner and a Certified Family Trauma Professional (CFTP). Mary-Joy has been working on development with our associate charity, The Dare To Live Trust since 2015.

Mary-Joy is passionate about Trauma-Informed/Trauma-Skilled practice and safeguarding as a foundation of all Equine Facilitated Interventions to enable the best outcomes for clients, the horses and facilitators themselves. She also runs a small private clinical practice, Wildways Therapy, on the borders of East/West Sussex.

Mary-Joy has had over 35 years of experience as a horse owner/guardian and has a keen interest in equine behavioural science, specifically through understanding the innate needs, behaviours and psychology of both humans and horses and how they align. She works with and supports the IFEEL/Dare To Live herd as part of their care and management team.

Mary-Joy is a mum of 3 children (birth and adopted) and actively advocates for the needs of vulnerable families to be better met through improved services, embedding an understanding of early/developmental trauma, compassion fatigue in care-givers and front-line professionals and the subsequent effects on family, education, health and social systems. She is passionate about research in the areas of Trauma-Informed/Trauma-Skilled practice in the systemic support of vulnerable families and the (personal and professional) care-giving systems around the child/young person. This also aligns with her focus on improving access, inclusion, diversity and equity within Equine Facilitated Interactions and all professional therapeutic practice/service delivery.

In her previous work life Mary-Joy worked as a singer and published songwriter within the music and advertising industry.

Accredited Member of National Council of Psychotherapists
Member of UK Psychological Trauma Society
Member of European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
Accredited Member of SAFE Professionals

Mary-Joy Johnson
MNCP(Accred), MSAFE (Accred), UKPTS, ESTSS