Research & Writing

© Laurie Pace

“Since I can remember there have been three unwavering traits that have defined who I am……”

Leif’s approach to research and writing is guided by her wildly, voraciously (and sometimes annoyingly) curious nature. She is deeply passionate about people, animals, and nature and loves to observe and better understand everything.

From the time Leif was young these characteristics have guided the majority of her pursuits. For Leif, there is a profound beauty in seeking out information, understanding intricate or complex patterns, and finding a way to clearly articulate all of this using approachable language that embraces thoughts, feelings, emotions, and facts.

“Some words I use to describe my colleague and friend of over 20 years: Passionate, driven, always ethical, razor sharp clinically, intuitive and humanistic.”

Laura Brinkerhoff, M.A., LPC, LISAC

Leif is a self-taught researcher. But over the years she has developed a method for research that looks a lot like the Grounded Theory method. Her research journeys have been defined not by investigating a “problem” or proposing a hypothesis, but rather driven by the stories of the people she meets, and her own passion for learning something unexpected from their experiences and wisdom.

Leif has continued to refine a specific process of data collection and responsive coding that has helped her conceptualize and identify emerging themes in both literature and interviews. Through this process Leif has been delighted and amazed to watch as seemingly unrelated pieces of information would align to form recognizable patterns.

To date Leif has conducted two large scale international cross-sectional practice pattern research projects in collaboration with Oregon State University and Idaho State University, examined the state of equine-assisted services research through a comprehensive literature review, and published two books with Routledge, the world’s leading academic publisher in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Her first book (Walking the Way of the Horse) is self-published. All three books are related to her research in the area of including horses in mental health and learning. But, Leif’s curiosity leads her on, and who knows what the next learning adventure might hold!

Check Out & Purchase Leif’s Books!

“Leif Hallberg’s, The Clinical Practice of Equine-Assisted Therapy, is a must-read for anyone interested in the scope, provision, business, ethics, and science of incorporating horses within health care. As informative and thoughtful as it is honest and visionary, there is no better single source for learning about diverse equine-assisted therapies today, their current challenges and future possibilities.”

Wendy Wood, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, professor of Occupational Therapy, director of Research at the Temple Grandin Equine Center, Colorado State University

“When one thinks of horses, words such as strength and majesticness are often considered. Equine assisted interventions have developed over the past 50 years and are becoming well recognized as a form of therapy. Hallberg’s book and companion workbook are an excellent source for learning how trained horses with professionals can work together to support the quality of life for many. The books are a must for all interested professionals.”

Aubrey H. Fine, EdD, licensed psychologist/professor at Cal Poly State University, editor/author of The Handbook on Animal Assisted TherapyHow Animals Help Students Learn, and Afternoons with Puppy.

“What happens when we step off our “high horses” and walk beside these powerful beings? A whole new vista of possibilities materializes, seemingly out of thin air, and we realize that horses have more to teach us than we could ever presume to teach them. This ambitious book offers the most comprehensive overview to date of a complex, cutting-edge, multi-faceted field, deftly exploring the history, challenges, and as yet untapped potential of the various disciplines that employ horses as educators, therapists, and trainers of advanced human development skills.”

Linda Kohanov, author of The Tao of Equus, Riding Between Worlds, and The Way of the Horse: Equine Archetypes for Self Discovery

Let’s journey together!

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