Catherine Anne Held, PhD, never got the horse she wanted as a young girl in Ohio. Horses have, however, accompanied her through her life transitions in dreams, artwork, and visionary experiences. Dr. Held received her doctorate in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2006. Her dissertation is entitled, Horse Girl: An Archetypal Study of Women, Horses, and Trauma Healing, where she investigated the relationship between women and horses in history, culture, mythology, and psychology.


4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    miamigirl0007 said,

    This is facinating. My daughter is 4 and keeps dreaming about horses. She asks me to buy her a real one. Which I’m considering at some point. However we have started a My Little Pony collection and you might be guessing Santa is bringing more horse toys. So, I’ve been trying to research the meaning of horses and about dreaming constantly about them. She just developed an instant love for horses and dreams about them nightly. She is riding them. She is around them and sees us with the horses. You have an interesting page. She did see a picture of me on a pony beside my mom ( her grandmother) when I was little. I don’t know if that sparked her imagination and her dreams of horses. It would be interesting to read more on horses , dreams and kids.

    • 2

      1horsedreamer said,

      Hi–I would love to hear and learn more! I apologize for being away from my blog for so long. I think that some girls are just horse girls. Recently I was watching my teenage daughter’s indoor soccer game. I noticed one of the girls, Shelby, had unusual grace as she turned corners and maneuvered the ball. She reminded me of a horse. I asked her mom, and sure enough Shelby rode horses as a girl and filled her room with horse figurines. Another time I was in a preschool classroom and noticed a three year old galloping around. She told me she was a pony, and introduced me to the rest of her herd.

  2. 3

    amanda perez said,

    good day, dr. held,

    i am currently training as a contemplative psychotherapist at naropa university. reading an abstract of your doctoral dissertation, i became inspired to base my master’s thesis on the healing power of horses for women specifically. my clinical internship involves doing equine-assisted therapy with women survivors of military sexual trauma. i would love to get my hands on your full dissertation, but have been unsuccessful through the usual channels thus far. i would appreciate very much if you would share this with me, and will be glad to share my master’s thesis with you upon completion.

    thanks in advance for your consideration and for inspiring me to explore the clinical issue i’m encountering from a broader perspective.

    very best,
    amanda perez
    boulder, co

    • 4

      1horsedreamer said,

      Dear Amanda–What beautiful work you are doing, thank you for contacting me! Below is a link where you can purchase my dissertation. Alternatively, Naropa may be able to do an inter-library loan for you with Pacifica Graduate Institute. I look forward to your work. You might also be interested in a new book that I am co-writing with Alyssa Aubrey at Medicine Horse Ranch in Tomales, California, titled, “Finding North Horse.” Be sure to check out her website, http://www.medicinehorseranch.org. All the best! Catherine

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