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Heroes & Horses for Veterans

Welcome to Dede's Website

Dede has been a professional counselor for 30 years. She holds a masters degree in Human Development Counseling from Vanderbilt University and completed two (2) years of post-graduate training with The New Symphony Center for Integrative Group Psychotherapy. She has trained with Albert Pesso, originator (with Diane Borden) of psychomotor psychotherapy. She was among the first practitioners to be certified by the Certification Board for Equine Interactive Professionals as an equine-assisted psychotherapist. She is certified as a riding instructor by the Certified Horsemen Association (CHA),, a member of Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International and the Tennessee Licensed Professional Counselor Association.


Dede works with clients of all ages (children, adolescents, adults) in individual, group and family therapy settings, primarily focusing on the areas of addictive/compulsive disorders, dual diagnoses and post-traumatic stress disorder. Her Experiential Equine Counseling model is a blend of traditional equine-assisted psychotherapy philosophies and methodologies with her unique talents and skills as an experiential counselor, strongly influenced by her training in developmental psychology and the work of Albert Pesso and Diane Borden (psychomotor therapy).


Dede worked with the Recovery Ranch, an extended care treatment program in Nunnelly, Tennessee, from its inception in 1998 until 2015. She developed The Ranch's equine therapy program and continued in that role until 2015. Her unique approach to equine therapy was featured, along with other Ranch programs, in a BBC Documentary in 2007. As The Ranch's initial equine therapist, Dede was a significant contributor, along with others of original staff, to The Ranch's approach to treatment of trauma and dual-diagnosis.


Dede has been published in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Newsletter, and her work with The Ranch's EAP Program has been featured in Counselor Magazine and The Substance Abuse Letter. One of Dede's client stories (The Promise) is included in The Horse Healers, an anthology published by Adams Media (2006) She has presented her Experiential Equine Model for regional and national conferences, including the annual conference for Path International and the U.S. Journal's Spirit Recovery Conference in Los Angeles. She was asked to present her work at Virginia Tech Veterinary College, emphasizing the human-animal bond she celebrates. 


Thirty (30) years ago Dede began her own journey of recovery. She openly shares her personal experience in her client work and she delights in sharing the equestrian journey with audiences and workshop participants.

What I hear, I forget.
What I see, I remember.
What I do, I understand.
                                    - Chinese Proverb
People who value intellect above all else are often surprised to learn that  horse might know something about them that they have yet to discover for themselves.    - Dede Beasley
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