Harriet is a psychologist specialising in leadership and organisational development, and has a particular passion for combining this with the magic of equine guided learning. She has worked with executives from Apple, Ebay, Paypal, other corporate multi-nationals, and government departments.
Back in 2006 and 2007 she worked with UAE women developing leadership potential through horses for the Dubai Ladies Club.
She is an experienced facilitator of group work, in particular for women, and is passionate about supporting the emergence of the evolving feminine. She completed a psychotherapy training and Masters degree at the Institute of Psychosynthesis in London.
Her original career was as an international journalist and loves to work and play in diverse cultures and settings. She is an experienced horsewoman, trained to practitioner-level 20 years ago with Monty Roberts, and has a herd of horses who join her in working with clients.
Laira on Harriet...
What do you like about working with Harriet?
I love working with Harriet. On some level, our work together is really just an excuse to hang out. When I am working with Harriet, I can bring my whole self to the conversation - the fun and the depth.
What is Harriet’s idea of hell?
Hah! Harriet’s idea of hell? This is hilarious. She would hate being imprisoned in a really boring soulless all-inclusive hotel, all the while she knew that there were cultural delights, pilgrimages, sufism, meditations, beautiful horses to ride, and delicious lunches to eat outside!
What does Harriet love?
I love Harriet’s appreciation for art, music, history, diverse spiritual practices and cultures. It is much farther reaching than my own. But most of all, Harriet’s love for her animal family is a joy to be around. You can see from how her horses carry themselves that they feel that too.
If you have a day off together what would you do?
I am having a tough time trying to decide. Getting on our horses and riding across the desert at 100 miles per hour. Steadily cantering across new unchartered terrain, exploring a never ending array of new paths. Or hanging out at a music festival listening to cool tunes. It’s a tough one!
Laira is a director and facilitator at Equilibrium Partners. Known for her clarity and warmth, Laira has a capacity for working at an embodied level, for deep listening and holding. She is passionate about enabling women to release from self doubt and old patterns that no longer serve them, finding new ways to connect to our creativity and core being.
Originally graduating with a 1st Class Degree in Maths and Management from Kings College London, Laira’s first career was in Institutional Equities at one of the major US Investment Banks. Laira has worked across the UK, USA and Europe, with a focus on Relationship Development and Management.
The emphasis on communication and rapport building in this role led Laira to sparking an interest in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Between 2005 - 2009, Laira went on to study NLP and Psychotherapy to Post Graduate level and in 2009, she qualified as an NLP Master Practitioner and Contemporary Psychotherapist. She has since worked in a variety of settings, enjoying creating a safe space for clients to find empowerment and explore themselves at depth.
Laira is also a Certified Monty Roberts Instructor - one of a small number of hand-picked Instructors around the globe - teaching the methods of world-famous horseman, Monty Roberts. She runs courses teaching Monty’s principles, facilitating others to strengthen the human-horse bond.
This unique blend of Natural Horsemanship and Contemporary Psychotherapy has been a passion for Laira for the past 12 years. Finding connection and synthesizing the two fields has been an ongoing source of creativity, both personally and professionally. Over her career, Laira has brought Equine Guided Learning to the corporate sector, young people and vulnerable adults. More recently, she has also trained other professionals in this work, along-side her colleague, Harriet Hanmer. One of Laira’s core values in this work is the establishment of emotional safety for client, practitioner and horse.
Laira splits her time between working with Women in Leadership and Management and running a private Psychotherapy practice from her home in Northamptonshire. She is a mother of two boys and knows first hand the challenges of juggling career, family, home and ‘me’ time. To get into flow, Laira spends time with her horses and in nature, which for her is the source of all creativity.
BSC 1st Class Hons, Post Grad Dip. Contemporary Psychotherapy, NLP Master Prac, UKCP, CCP, Monty Roberts Certified Instructor
HARRIET ON LAIRA
What do you like about working with Laira?
Working with Laira is a total joy. She is super smart and can really focus, which keeps us on purpose and grounds our creativity. At the same time she has a ready laugh and I love it when her zany sense of humour hijacks us. Her presence and poise are vehicles for her great sensitivity and insight. I love how we can tease out something really special from the spark of an idea one of us brings. I know I can bring anything to Laira and she will get it – whether it is a new idea, some emotional puzzle, or something I’ve noticed about the horses.
What is Laira’s idea of hell?
Hmmm, she would probably make the best of most situations by being curious. I can just imagine her interrogating the Devil to help him find compassion for his captives….However, on an more mundane level, her idea of hell would be having to do small talk in a fluorescent-lit basement room at a teetotal drinks party, where the canapés were spam fritters and low grade sausages. However, give her groovy tunes, a glass of fizz, and one person with an open mind and somehow she would make it work…
What does Laira love?
Ha! The need for speed! A fast gallop on her horse Goldie. She also loves to travel and explore other cultures and terrains. She loves meaningful interaction and connection. She loves beauty and that really shines through at her home, where there is a natural and graceful aesthetic. She loves her family and it is a delight to see her being with her little boys on their level, giving such gentle care and kindness.
If you have a day off together what would you do?
We would be magically transported to stay in a lovely isolated villa in Spain or Portugal. After sharing a delicious breakfast outside by the ozone infinity pool with a view over mountains, our fellas would take care of Laira’s kids for the day. We would ride gorgeous happy horses across beautiful countryside (of course including a gallop across a plain) to a day at the local feria where we would party on horseback with glasses of sherry and tapas. Then eventually we would come back home to tell Paul and Jake all about our adventure over a dinner that Jake had prepared, while Paul played guitar in the gloaming. Horses, food, adventure, music, loved ones, laughter, that's the recipe.
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