Meet Leif

© Shannon Morrissey

Making heartfelt connections around the globe…

Internationally-recognized author, educator, experiential psychotherapist, and avid lover of nature and animals, Leif Hallberg, MA, LPC, LCPC guides people on journeys of heart, mind, body, and soul – exploring the realms of mindful and embodied presence, conscious awareness, and heartfelt connection.

As an only child with adventurous parents, Leif grew up unusually. Her young life was spent at the put ins and take outs of America’s wildest and most remote rivers, in Yosemite, Joshua Tree and the Eastern Sierra, in Baja, on a 600-acre horse ranch in northern California, and everywhere in between. Leif was home schooled for most of her childhood, learning experientially and on the go. Leif’s horse, Suzy Q, was her grounding and stabilizing protector throughout all of life’s adventures. Leif and Suzy were together for 30 years, parting (only in the physical sense) when Suzy passed away in 2016 at the age of 35.

After years as a horse trainer and riding instructor, Leif finally decided it was time to go to college. In typical Leif fashion she chose Prescott College where the motto is “education is a journey not a destination”. Leif completed both her undergraduate and masters degree in counseling/psychology with an emphasis in experiential psychotherapy, and her 2003 thesis became the foundation of her first book Walking the Way of the Horse: Exploring the Power of the Horse-Human Relationship.

Since 1996, Leif has made it her life’s work to explore the myriad of health benefits that can be gained from engaging in respectful, relational, and mindful interactions between horses (and other animals), humans, and the natural world. Considered one of the foremost authorities in the emerging areas of equine-assisted mental health and equine-assisted learning, Leif has developed a reputation over the past 25+ years for her broad-reaching and objective investigation into this developing industry. It has been Leif’s goal to clarify, define, and objectively describe the complexity and diversity of the human-equine-nature relationship, and the professional and ethical applications of this relationship. Leif’s BOOKS are used by colleges and universities around the world as teaching texts, and professionals consider them essential resources for research and clinical practice.

Living, working, and being in relationship with horses since the time she was very young, Leif learned early on the importance of bringing a mindful, relational, and embodied presence to each interaction. Slowing down, becoming fully present in the moment, getting curious, and connecting were not just abstract concepts — they were life-saving practices. This has become the foundation for Leif’s innovative and unique approach to experiential psychotherapy and learning.

Today, Leif combines her knowledge of equines, nature, and mindfulness with her years of study and practice in the areas of depth psychology, experiential therapy, rites of passage, systems theory, organizational development, and transformation coaching to create an approach she calls “learning together in community”, a concept that begins to break down the barriers between “expert” and “novice”, “teacher” and “learner”, or “therapist” and “client”, empowering everyone to stretch, learn, grow, and change – together.

Leif is licensed as a professional counselor (LPC) in Oregon and as a Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Montana.

Leif infuses everything she does with an unstoppable belief in the power of relationship, humility, and open-hearted authenticity. Over years of experience and practice, Leif has melded together her experiences, her knowledge, and her own unique personality into a style that is captivating, engaging, surprising, and contagious.

As you will experience quickly when engaging with Leif, we are all in this together. We are all connected. We all belong. Enjoy the ride!

“You motivated me to learn again and provided me the confidence to develop my EAL program and bring to fruition ideas I’ve had plus wrapped them with the gentle mindful way you have of guiding people. You reintroduced me to technology, work ethic and belief in personal energy, the universe and biophilia. I’m sure there is more…Oh YES the biggie is I met some amazing women – you included. It has felt nice to belong to something again.”

Karen Galligan

“I truly am grateful to share time and learning with such a beautiful human who brings her power through vulnerability. A genuine person who practices self-reflection. Leif has so much knowledge to share.”

Michelle Coulcher

Let’s journey together!

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