Our courses are delivered by the LEAP Senior Therapeutic and Training Team, all of whom have extensive experience working with groups, trauma, addiction, mental health issues, coaching and running training courses:
Mike Delaney, Senior EFP/L Practitioner & Trainer
Mike Delaney RNMH, MBACP, RMA, Cert Couns., EAGALA
Mike Delaney is a key member of the senior therapeutic team. Mike is a Mental Health/Addictions Specialist with over 35 years experience working with individuals, rehabilitation centres and professional bodies in the UK and internationally. He had a successful career for twenty years as a Registered Nurse Manager and CPN within Mental Health/Learning Disability services and since undergoing treatment for his own addictions in 1996, he has specialised in a range of issues including addictive behaviours, young people who have suffered sexual trauma, co-dependency and relationships.
Over the last fifteen years Mike has managed several facilities including Barley Wood in Bristol and the Addictive Behaviour Centre in Birmingham. He has also been responsible for Project Managing and developing two new treatment facilities, Silkworth Lodge in Jersey in 2002 and Stepps in Gloucestershire in 2004. Until 2008 he was Group Clinical Director of The Stepping Stones Group, a large healthcare organisation for adults with Learning Disabilities and Mental Health issues. Since then he has had a successful Private practice in Gloucestershire and Harley Street London, has provided training for a number of Organisations including Veterans Aid in London and is a Director of Pathways Supported Housing in Weston-super-Mare and LEAP Equine Therapeutic Centre in Westbury on Severn.
Mike is one of the leading practitioners of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy in the UK and a pioneer in innovative, highly successful treatment methods. Most recently, he and Ella Jones brought together their knowledge, interests and expertise to create the Ofqual-regulated Level 5 Diploma in EFP - the LEAP Method, the only regulated and recognised EFP training in the UK specifically for mental health professionals. Mike and Ella also created the LEAP EFP/L Practitioner Training Programme which is now in its fifth year, has ninety graduates practicing in the UK and is the only EFP/L training in the UK to have received endorsement for CPD from the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy). Mike gives talks and presents papers on EFP/L in the UK and abroad, including a recent presentation of a LEAP research paper to the Royal College of Psychiatrists Conference around the efficacy of EFP for young people who have experienced childhood sexual trauma.
In recovery himself from addiction to alcohol and drugs for over fifteen years, Mike has had first-hand experience of the devastating effects of addiction on an individual and their loved ones and is passionate about using his vast practical and theoretical expertise to help others to succeed in recovery, whether it be from alcohol, drugs, depression, sex, co-dependency, food or gambling.
Ella Jones - Director, Senior EFP/L Practitioner & Trainer
Ella Jones, BA (Hons), MA Psychotherapy, PG Dip. Psychotherapy, UKCP, HEAL
Ella Jones is an owner and director of LEAP, and is a key member of the senior therapeutic team. Ella is a psychotherapist and experienced EFP/L practitioner for both individuals and groups. Ella is a graduate of the HEAL (Human Equine Alliance for Learning) facilitator training programme in Washington State, USA, and is co-founder of the LEAP Model of EFP/L. Ella holds a Masters Degree in Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy, a Diploma in Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy and has a private psychotherapy practice in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire.
Ella co-facilitated the ground-breaking LEAP 'Code Breakers' Programme (now known as the LEAP ‘Care’ Programme) with Mike Delaney, a programme specifically designed to meet the needs of young offenders and vulnerable young people. Ella also sees clients of all ages on a one-to-one basis and has a particular interest in EFP/L as a therapy for trauma. Along with other members of the senior team, Ella facilitates the Level 5 Diploma in EFP - The LEAP Method, the LEAP EFL Practitioner Training Programme, and Introduction to EFP/L workshops.
Most recently, Ella Jones and Mike Delaney brought together their knowledge, interests and expertise to create the Ofqual-regulated Level 5 Diploma in EFP - the LEAP Method, the only regulated and recognised EFP training in the UK specifically for mental health professionls. Mike and Ella also created the LEAP EFP/L Practitioner Training Programme which is now in its fifth year and has ninety graduates practicing in the UK.
Ella has been involved with horses since childhood and competed extensively as a young person in the US and UK. As a young adult she worked professionally as a horse trainer, specialising in starting young horses and rehabilitating traumatised horses. She has an active interest in natural horsemanship methods and incorporates an ethos of partnership, relatedness and gentle leadership into her EFP/L sessional work and trainings. Ella has a teaching background in Steiner/Waldorf education and is mother of two. She is passionate about the horse-human bond and the healing that can be achieved for both parties through authentic connection.
Sarah Watson, Director of Training at LEAP. Owner of Life on Dreams Ltd and DEFT-UK CIC
Sarah Watson MBACP, MSc (Dist), PG Cert
Sarah worked for many years in blue chip organisations providing change programmes and coaching for management teams. She was in a world-class procurement change team for Rolls Royce PLC and was involved in delivering business plan development and strategic sourcing globally. She has negotiated multi-million-pound global contracts within a complex multi-sourcing environment, understanding this complexity allows her to work with a variety of national and global organisations providing leadership development. She uses her own equine therapy centre at Life on Dreams to offer unique leadership development, change management and business strategy development in a truly immersive and unique experience.
Sarah has also ran a successful procurement consultancy and worked for a number of global organisations including Vodafone, Rolls Royce PLC, E-on, Northcliffe Media, Associated News including the Daily Mail. Her work at Vodafone saw her shortlisted for a Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Chain (CiPS) award. During this time, she was able to train with some world class horsemen and subsequently went on to train in Horse Accelerated Transformation (HAT) with HorseJoy, which set her up to integrate strategic skills with a horse-focused leadership development programme.
While completing her MSc in Integrative Psychotherapy, Sarah studied with LEAP as an Equine Facilitated Psychotherapist (EFP) and after graduating with a distinction from her MSc, she went on to launch Life on Dreams Limited.
Life on Dreams is a fulfilment of her dream, to create a specialist centre offering well-being services in South Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Working with corporate leaders including CIOs and Company Directors, adults and young people struggling with anxiety, stress, depression, PTSD, addiction and trauma, Sarah has cumulated thousands of clinical practice hours.
In 2016, Sarah joined the LEAP senior training team where she is able to bring her experience as a coach and psychotherapist into the experiential training offered by LEAP for those wishing to become EFP and EFL Practitioners. This led to her becoming a Director of Training for LEAP in 2018, responsible for co-running the EFL training programme, the Level 5 Diploma in Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy: the LEAP Method and supervising trainees and LEAP Practitioners. She is also developing new courses based on her clinical experience and expertise in Leadership, Coaching, Addiction and Holistic Equine Management.
She has over 40 years' experience with horses, initially training with the British Horse Society and working as a Freelance instructor, competing in eventing and show jumping in her spare time. She later moved into horsemanship, which is still the foundation to her approach to working with her therapy herd at Life on Dreams. She has a passion for dressage, working equitation and anything Friesian!
Jo-Anne Karlsson, Senior EFP/L Practitioner & Trainer
Jo-Anne Karlsson MSc, MBPsP, NBCC, LCDC, LEAP