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The Pod Community

“We don't heal in isolation, but in community.”
― S. Kelley Harrell, Gift of the Dreamtime - Reader's Companion

Equine Mental Health Practitioners work both individually and collaboratively (with either horses, llamas or other humans) at The Therapy Pod offering a variety of services.  Each individual brings different skills and energy with interests lying in different areas.

"I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort, where we overlap."

- Ani DiFranco 


This page provides information about both the human and animal members of The Pod Community.

Pod Community: Headliner
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Pod Community: Image
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Jane Ashton

Founded The Therapy Pod in 2019

Jane started her career studying a double degree in Law and Environmental Science. It was in her capacity as a solicitor running the Pro Bono Scheme for the Law Society of NSW that Jane felt frustrated at her inability to assist clients with their mental health issues and watched vulnerable clients fall through the cracks in the system.   During this period of her life, Jane struggled to maintain the high stress of life as a big city lawyer, so spent her weekend working (recharging) as a Park Ranger at Manly Dam.

After motherhood, and searching for change Jane made the move from law to the music industry and co-founded Footstomp Music (alongside her husband - a veteran in the music industry) working with many great Australian artists including Busby Marou, Tia Gostelow, Amy Shark, Glenn Richards (Augie March) & more. Again, Jane became frustrated by the overwhelming need for mental health issues to be addressed and supported within the industry - and her own mental health issues suppressed and bubbling underneath the surface.


Constantly drawn towards her deep connection with nature and animals, Jane moved her family from the city to a property overlooking the mountains in the stunning Tallebudgera Valley - where she began her own personal journey of self discovery and healing.

The therapeutic power of nature, art and animals inspired her to explore her vocation as a therapist. Jane began her deep dive into mental health completing her studies as a Counsellor specialised in Equine Assisted Therapy.  The Therapy Pod was founded in 2019, and her professional development deepened with further studies in trauma informed sandplay and symbol work, followed by Somatic Attachment Focused Expressive Therapies.

Jane is a neurodivergent therapist (counsellor / psychotherapist ) with lived experience in C-PTSD, major depressive disorder, ADHD, autism (PDA profile), dyslexia, dyscalculia, addiction, separation and chronic pain (fibromyalgia & osteoarthritis).  She is a mother to three remarkable neurodivergent children (a tween and teens) and caretaker of 7 horses, 8 llamas, 3 goats, 2 dogs, 3 cats, 2 guinea pigs, a blue tongue lizard, a couple of chooks and a pink cockatoo.

For decades, in various capacities, Jane has worked with vulnerable clients. Her special interests lie in trauma and neurodiversity.

Jane describes her therapeutic process as:

  • relational (with the self, therapist and the animals), creating safety and building rapport in the therapeutic relationship;

  • overlayed with the lens of attachment theory, helping people create security in their attachments;

  • emotion focused and client-centered, working with clients to connect with their emotions and to feel safe to express them (often using creative arts or expressive therapy);

  • somatic / body based approach, focusing on nervous system regulation and creating felt sense of safety in the body.

Pod Community: About Me

Neisha Cass

Neisha Cass Counselling + Equine Assisted Therapy

Neisha is a qualified counsellor whose practice is somatic, experiential and trauma informed drawing upon theories and techniques from gestalt, counselling, mindfulness and her experience working with vulnerable clients.


Neisha’s passion for helping others stems from her own experience dealing with trauma, fatigue and burnout.  As a mother of twin boys juggling a corporate career she understands how full life can be.


Struggling to get results with traditional talk therapy she looked deeper into what was possible and discovered body based Counselling and Equine Assisted Therapy. This type of somatic healing looks into what is causing pain or distress in your life, helping you to get clearer about who you are and what you need.


After falling in love with this way of making emotional changes she left her corporate career to study Counselling and Equine Assisted Therapy. This has allowed her to offer the same powerful support to others so they can achieve outcomes they didn’t think were possible, both in a room based counselling environment and outside with the horses supporting the client in the session.


Neisha provides a warm and safe space for her clients to share their stories and build self-confidence, create awareness and acceptance, rediscover their strengths, and work toward positive change across all aspects of their life.

Pod Community: About Me
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Tracey Johnson

My psychotherapy career began at Lifeline as a volunteer 2003.  I enjoyed counselling so much I trained as a facilitator and later a supervisor. At the time Lifeline offered their volunteers many short courses in therapeutic modalities such as NLP, Art therapy, Focusing and EFT Tapping. I did every course I could and also studied my Diploma in Community Welfare Work/Counselling.

In addition to traditional study, I completed courses in Reiki (Reiki Master) and Meditation.

In 2008 I suddenly started having anxiety and panic attacks. I couldn’t eat. I could barely swallow and I lost a great deal of weight. I was overwhelmed by everything. This experience forced me to stop and focus on getting myself well. I had spent so long learning how to help others. This was the time to put all my learning into practice, to help myself. I journaled, I did art therapy, Reiki and had therapy. I was diagnosed with PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


It took a good 2 years before I could eating normally again. I found, through those years, a great deal of support came from my family, friends and animals - my dogs and my horses especially. I spent many hours just sitting with them, and receiving their unconditional love.


This experience has taught me the importance of self care, boundaries and giving ourselves time and space. Discovering and developing resources, support  and a holistic approach with a somatic (body based) focus is worked for me. 

I went on to complete a Bachelor of Counselling and Masters in Gestalt Therapy. 


I have also completed training in

 - Family Constellation Therapy

- Trauma Informed Sandplay Therapy and Symbol Work  

- Equine Assisted Psychotherapy/Mental Health. 


I  volunteer for a charity Broken to Brilliant - supporting Domestic Violence Survivors. 

Pod Community: About Me
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Mohjoe

Mohjoe, the sensitive gentleman of the herd, is quiet, kind, responsive and soft.  He places great value on the connection with the others in the herd, yet maintains a strong sense of self.

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Pedro

Pedro, the baby of the herd, is an intelligent, curious, playful and beautiful natured pony.  He is completely blind in one eye, due to an accident in a fence as a foal. Pedro's breed is remains a mystery as his mother was a rescue pony, and gave birth after she was taken into care.

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Taco

Taco is a solid grounded presence that can beautifully hold space with clients. Very calm horse to work with, he adores a good brush down and engaging with people. Taco is the leader of our therapy herd.

Big day at #thetherapypod today for the

Megsie

This spunky little pocket rocket holds her own with the big horses in the herd.  An independent little character ready for adventure. Megsie is the oldest of the herd and has been with us the longest.

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Diana

This anxious little mare joined our herd after approximately 17 years of being a broodmare on 300 acres.  She is a great teacher of slowing down and lowering your energy to engage.

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Casper

Casper holds the wisdom of his years (this little old man is 34 year young). A one in a million pony that prior to officially joining our herd, lived his life with our dearly loved ex-neighbours.

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Zuri

Zuri, is very much the working dog. She lives and breathes for the Pod community. Her main passion in life is delivering sticks for you to throw.  She is a very intelligent, protective,  unique girl that is sensitive and responsive to the energy around her.

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Occy

This 16 year old matriarch of the farm, likes to lounge on the therapy chairs overlooking the top paddock. Waiting to greet those that take the treck up the hill. She adores Broken to Brilliant group days and never fails to show up.

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Rocket Man

A Muscovy Duck gifted to us by a long standing member of the Pod community Rocket feels like he has always belonged.  He wags his tail when he is happy and adores being near the humans.

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Splodge

This little guinea pig is so calm and has such a gentle beautiful soul.  Splodge is senior in years and can teach us so much about co-regulation.

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Wayne

Wayne is a cheeky, energetic spunk. He adores splodge and loves to chat.

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Joey

Joey is 34 years young (these guys can live around 80 years).  He enjoys coming out for bush walks and pottering about on the grass. Unfortunately he is a one person bird and he will let you know clearly if you are in his bubble (or Jane’s bubble) and will warn you to step back.

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Captain Jack

This is your resources section. You can use this space to publish relevant tips about therapy, new trends in psychology and legal resources for your visitors. Informational articles can be a great way to position yourself as an authority in your field, and keep your visitors engaged.

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Isaac

This is your resources section. You can use this space to publish relevant tips about therapy, new trends in psychology and legal resources for your visitors. Informational articles can be a great way to position yourself as an authority in your field, and keep your visitors engaged.

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Dave

Dave, was born on the property around 4 years ago. He is intelligent and marvellous to walk with. His mum is Sarah (white llama is still with us on the property)

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Everest

What can I say. One in a million. Those that have meet this guy know what I mean.

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Stumpy

Blue Tongue Lizard

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Lumpy Space Princess

Lumpy joined the Pod community late 2021 - when she is excited her tail wags with full body commitment. She seems part dog, part teddy bear. Lumpy’s best friend is Gary (the cat). They snuggle in together to sleep at night.

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Miranda

Sweet, quiet (I mean she has the most delicate of meows), adores little pats and scratches under the chin.  Miranda is generally found on the hay pile. Her favourite place to spend her time.

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Noodle

Loud, direct and enjoys a walk with the dogs. I’ve been in session at The Therapy Pod on multiple occasions and noodle has walked down to join in on the session at the most remarkable moments.

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Gary

Gary, Lumpy’s Bestie, likes to lie on top of humans when they sleep.  He is learning to enjoy affection more and more from humans (not just vigorous head licks from lumpy).

Pod Community: Resources
Pod Community: Clients
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