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Building Families

The Quakerdale Family Services ministry is made up of various services designed to provide assistance to individuals, couples and families, helping them to communicate and relate to each other in a respectful, caring way as well as learning to access community support and resources. Our services are designed to identify and build on strengths, develop skills to manage situational change and access their own informal supports and resources. 

Family services require a belief in the worth and dignity of the individual, and the value and importance of the family unit. It also requires a belief in and special appreciation for the strengths a family offers. Our focus is on mobilizing strengths while supporting the psychological, spiritual, and physical well being of all persons involved.

Family Walk

So, how do we build families in a Ranch environment?

The Quakerdale Family Services office is located at the Wolfe Ranch of Quakerdale, 3 miles east of Marshalltown, Iowa on Highway 30. We offer a relaxed and supportive atmosphere to learn, grow and heal. We have partnered with the Ranch to provide Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL). By utilizing horses, our Licensed Mental Health Clinicians and the Ranch's Equine Specialists help families find the hope and strength to overcome obstacles, while healing, growing, and facing challenges in their lives.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) takes the traditional counseling/therapy from the office into the arena, and utilizes horses to facilitate learning, healing, and understanding. The sessions are designed to stimulate self-awareness through the observation of natural horse and herd behavior. Participants start recognizing their behaviors and patterns as they are reflected in the horses’ behaviors and patterns. This allows them to solve problems and draw conclusions in a less threatening way. Families that come to the Ranch for Equine Therapy partner with a Licensed Counselor to build a greater understanding of self and each other.




Equine Assisted Learning EAL focuses on educational and learning goals. Horses are some of life’s best teachers and healers. They are intuitive and have the ability to mirror our behavior and feelings. During a session the participants will be asked to complete an exercise that includes interaction with one or more horses. The exercises do not require riding or knowledge of horsemanship. Understanding and utilizing a horse’s natural instincts, the EAL facilitator uses this interactive form of experiential learning to help improve team building, communication, leadership skills, family dynamics. 

So, why are our horses are a member of our team?

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Interested in learning more about how EAP can strengthen and build your family? 

You can learn more about our ministry partner, Wolfe Ranch of Quakerdale by clicking the picture below!

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