Beth Achorn is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Georgia and a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in New Hampshire. Beth holds a Master of Arts degree from Boston College, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from Plymouth State University where she was a member of Chi Sigma Iota, a counseling academic and professional international honor society. In 35 years of practice, Beth has worked with over 3,000 children and families and has learned something valuable from each of them.
Beth is credentialed in Early Childhood and Family Mental Health through the New Hampshire Association of Infant Mental Health and New Hampshire’s Department of Behavioral Health.
Through the Early Education and Intervention Network (EEIN), Beth was privileged to do a mentorship in neurobiological development where she sought to understand the the neurobiological underpinnings of behavior. This understanding enables the use of interventions designed to repattern specific neuronal pathways.
Beth was a part of the Massachusetts Child Trauma Project; Intensive Learning Collaborative where she worked to improve access to evidenced-based treatments for children and families involved in the child welfare system. She is currently working on becoming one of the few nationally registered providers using the evidenced based treatment of (CPP) Child- Parent Psychotherapy. CPP is effective in treating trauma, attachment disorders, and in increasing reflective parenting practices in caregivers.
During her tenure working in Early Childhood Mental Health, Beth headed the initiative to create and adopt the organization’s Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) team. As team leader she used Functional Behavioral Analysis to create individual support plans designed to provide the additional supports needed for children with challenging behavior to be more successful in group settings.
Beth was also one of the principal researchers on Ready for School Success, a study examining the social and emotional factors associated with school failure in at risk preschoolers . In a collaboration with Boston Medical Center, Beth participated in research determining the effectiveness of Problem Solving Therapy in mothers experiencing maternal depression.
Beth served 15 years on the board of directors of The New Hampshire Association of Infant Mental Health, served 10 years on board of the Early Education and Intervention Network and was appointed by the Governor to New Hampshire’s Task Force on Perinatal Substance Abuse.
Beth has presented numerous workshops and training sessions on topics including behavior management, differential diagnosis in early childhood disorders, the effects of substance abuse by parents, the neurogenesis of attachment, trauma, parenting, maternal depression, ADHD in children and adults, emotional regulation, and the neurobiology of social and emotional development. Beth worked as a Mental Health Specialist in an Early Intervention Program, where she worked for 2.5 years in order to study the multidisciplinary approach to early childhood mental health. Behavioral issues in the very young frequently may involve sensory processing deficits, issues with emotional regulation and/or speech and language disorders. To effectively treat the child, these areas may need to be additionally assessed and addressed.
Beth has a special interested in animal assisted psychotherapies and has completed the Fundamental of EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association).
Style and Approach:
Beth respects that seeking the help of a therapist, for ourselves or a family member, can take a tremendous amount of courage and is often difficult. Engaging in therapy, at it’s best, requires a willingness to explore the thoughts, behaviors and patterns that may be hindering some aspect of our existence. Frequently, it is in the exploration of the lesson’s taught by painful experiences that personal growth and forward movement occurs. Congratulations on your decision to take the first, difficult step on your journey of exploration for growth and healing!
The children and families Beth sees are typically resilient and want things to improve. This means different things to everybody. Beth is here to help you and your child find ways to make this happen. A child’s challenging behavior is often an attempt to communicate, get needs met or results from a lack of competency or skill development. As a professional, Beth has expertise in understanding a child’s mental health; as a parent, however, you are both the primary educator and expert on your child. Beth takes a very collaborative approach to her work with families, believing that a child makes the greatest gains when the parents and professional can jointly support that child in accomplishing his/her goal.
As the mother of 5 grown children, Beth understands well both the joy and frustration that accompanies the parenting journey. She recognizes that there is no single right way to parent and knows there are many diverse, effective parenting practices.. She takes a nonjudgmental, strength based approach that builds on specific competencies of the child and his/her caregivers.
Beth greatly values the relationships she develops with the children and families with whom she is fortunate enough to work . She enjoys using a multitude of treatment modalities which facilitate her ability to structure sessions for the needs of an individual client. Past clients have described Beth as being bright, quick thinking, humorous, creative, and informative and most of all personable and down to earth.
Jeff is an EAGALA Model facilitator. Two of the most influential reasons why he set out to become certified, was his previous involvement with volunteer work with a therapeutic riding program in Florida & his military service. Volunteer work with the therapeutic riding program, provided hands on experience in understanding how horses can have a powerful impact in helping the physically challenged. As a military veteran who served in Desert Storm he witnessed the adverse emotional impact of deployment suffered by many of my fellow service members. "I firmly believe it was my horses that kept me from suffering in the same manner. When I first heard about the EAGALA Model something “clicked” in my mind and caused me to realize that horses can not only help the physically challenged but those experiencing emotional challenges as well."
Along with compassion & a true desire to help others, he can positively facilitate the EAGALA Model. His military service has provided a certain level of insight into issues faced by military personnel and first responders. This is a community that would benefit greatly from the EAGALA Model.
One might say that Rabbit Hole Farm South (RHFS) was many years in the making and has all of the components of a real life fairy tale. The two halves of RHFS, Beth and Jeff, met in the Fall of 1978 when both were attending a small high school in central New Hampshire. They became good friends as they jointly carried a chainsaw up Black Water Ski Area and before long they became high school sweethearts. Jeff being the dutiful boyfriend, would groom for Beth, already an avid equestrian, for her weekend horse events. Jeff’s payment for his grooming services was for Beth to throw him up on her horse and to lead him around after the show.
The high school years passed quickly. After high school Beth elected to pursue her educational and career goals while Jeff embarked on a less conventional path and enlisted in the United States Air Force. Although they lost touch in 1986, the strong connection Beth and Jeff stayed with each of them.
In 2006 Jeff opened a Facebook account and his first friend request came less than 24hrs later from his old friend Beth. Beth was surprised to see his profile picture was a horse and Jeff was shocked to see Beth’s 5 children. The next 8 years included more than 6,000 messages, a week watching top competitors at World Equestrian Games in 2010 and a rekindling of the friendship.
Sometimes the more you appreciate something, the more it grows. In July 2014 through a series of truly fate driven events, Beth and Jeff met again in person at Boston’s Logan airport for a quick lunch at Legal Seafoods. Beth was happily single living in a small town in New Hampshire with her nine dogs and two horses. Jeff was living outside of Atlanta with his one dog and one horse. During that Legal Seafoods lunch an attraction sparked and Jeff spent the following weekend once again grooming for Beth at a local horse show. Jeff, whose approach to life has always been slow and methodical in his approach, suddenly found himself uprooting his secure life in Georgia and moving to Beth’s farm in New Hampshire with dog and horse in tow. Beth who had maintained she was not interested in a relationship, found herself ‘falling through the rabbit hole’ into Jeff’s arms.
Amongst their shared vision was an interest in using their love of horses to benefit others. It’s hard to be with horses and not feel their enormous power to transform lives. It was then that the idea of augmenting Beth’s traditional psychotherapy practice with an equine assisted psychotherapy model was conceived. As a result, the Rabbit Hole Farm concept was born and Beth and Jeff started referring to the New Hampshire farm as Rabbit Hole Farm. With New Hampshire’s winters making it an inhospitable climate for horse people as well as the cost associated with living in, and maintaining one of the oldest farm houses in town, it was decided to relocate to warmer climates. In June 2016 Beth and Jeff moved the entire Rabbit Hole Farm operation consisting of: 3 horses, 2 mini donkeys, 7 dogs, a farm tractor (affectionately referred to as “Alice”), and a partridge in pear tree, to Georgia in order to actualize the dream of creating an equine assisted psychotherapy practice. Thus, Rabbit Hole Farm South was born.
Jeff has always been an animal lover and while grooming for Beth at horse shows in high school his love and admiration of horses became evident. Jeff bought his first horse, Karamish, while stationed at Kelly AFB in San Antonio, TX. Jeff’s Air Force career allowed him the opportunity travel the world and experience many equine activities and cultures. Over the years Jeff has owned several horses and participated in a variety of equine disciplines. Jeff’s most recent equine related accomplishment is completing the training, and becoming certified, in the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) model. EAGALA is the global standard for equine assisted psychology and personal development. Jeff acts as the Equine Specialist (ES) during the equine assisted sessions at RHFS. When not in the ES role, Jeff is the chief fence mender and maintenance person at RHFS.
Rabbit Hole Farm South programs:
RHFS offers traditional psychotherapy services, equine assisted psychotherapy, and equine assisted learning opportunities. We encourage you to contact us for more information on each and to assess which program may be most appropriate for you and/or your family