Hayat is a member of the IFEAL Qualifications Faculty and performs the roles of tutor, mentor and assessor. She is part of the IFEAL facilitator team and IFEAL Qualifications’ (IFEAL Q) training programme faculty.
Hayat has been an addictions counsellor for over 7 years and has worked in individual and group settings with persons with substance use disorders and comorbidities. She was also the Treatment Program manager of a clinical team in outpatient treatment facility in Beirut for 3 years before setting up her own business “FELT.Connection” in mid 2015.
Hayat grew up and lived in various parts of the world from the Middle East to the UK and USA where she learnt about different cultures, meeting diverse groups of people and integrating with various herds of horses. Since her childhood, Hayat has always been drawn to horses. This attraction was eventually actualised when Hayat went for a casual horse ride in London at the age of 10. From that moment on, Hayat’s love, passion and drive to co-exist and learn with the horse has been the true constant in her life. Through many years of life changing events, relocations, struggles and successes, horses have been Hayat’s life line. She worked in yards in London as a teenager, helped step up an equestrian club in Lebanon in her early 20s, schooling young horses and teaching horse riding, attended a year of Equine Studies in Hadlow College in Tonbridge UK before moving to Minnesota at the age of 24 where she lived on a horse ranch caring for a herd of 100 quarter horses, co-managing a barn and spending all day in the saddle riding through the beautiful nature of the Mid-West leading trail rides and training horses.
Hayat eventually returned to Lebanon at the age of 28 believing that she needed to let go of the path of the horse and graduated with a BSC.HONS in Addictions counselling from the University of Bath, completed her internship in Action on Addiction, UK and became a member of FDAP.
After leading a horse free life for 4 years, while working in an outpatient treatment facility in Beirut, she randomly came across a horse that would forever change her life. She was immediately reminded of her belongingness and love for horse and returned to the equine world. She became interested in learning about the various horsemanship approaches, training with a horsemanship instructor, teaching herself by watching endless videos, reading books and practicing with her horse. She wanted to find a way to integrate her career in counselling with the horses. A thorough research led her to Kathleen Barry Ingram and IFEAL.
Hayat completed Kathleen Barry Ingram’s mentorship programme at the beginning of 2015 and graduated from IFEAL Q training at the end of 2015. She has since continued her supervision with Kathleen for both her work in Equine therapy and her Counselling practice, working closely to incorporate the theoretical underpinnings of some psychotherapy models as well counselling and coaching into the EFL work.
Based in Beirut, Lebanon, by mid 2015 Hayat founded her own business (FELT.Connection) in which she works closely with people who struggle with addiction and other mental health issues in her private clinic as well as offering equine therapy for personal and professional development with her herd of horses.
She is also a horsemanship coach and an equine welfare advocate for horses in the Middle East, putting much focus on maintaining the horse’s wellbeing and spirit in the sport of riding. She spends much of her time with equestrians in Lebanon inspiring and teaching them be more mindful about developing a relationship with the equine partners and being attuned to their horses’ needs and communication as well as their own. She works with horses who develop behavioural blocks by integrating different horsemanship methods and re-introducing the human equestrian using the IFEAL model.
Throughout the many years of experiencing life and working with people and horses, it has become evident for Hayat that Trauma is a predominant factor to the challenges of life. As such, Hayat’s next developmental step is a degree in Trauma Studies.