Sara Velez

Sara Velez LCSW

Sara’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Miami in International Studies and Spanish. Sara then went on to earn her Masters of Social Work degree from Monmouth University in International and Community Development. She has worked with young adults, individuals, couples and families tailoring her approach to the unique needs of each new client. Sara’s passion is working with individuals struggling with mental illness and those in recovery to help them heal from the trauma of addiction. Sara has dedicated her life to helping individuals who suffer from mental illness and from the afflictions of alcoholism and addictions. She decided to incorporate her own personal life journey and begin a course of action to help others heal their lives. When she started Operation H.O.P.E., Sara was able to combine her passion for healing people with her love of horses and incorporating the EAGALA Model of Equine Assisted Development. Her goal is to make people feel at home at the farm and create a unique oasis to experience wonderful growth and healing through psychotherapy with the help of horses.

Sara's Presentations


Operation HOPE: Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

The Healing Power of Horses

Who is Operation HOPE? Operation HOPE provides an option for people seeking a new or different response to depression, anxiety, and trauma. We provide Equine Assisted Psychotherapy for a variety of clients which includes children, teens, and adults with any mental health issues. All of our services benefit rescue animals; we aim to spread awareness about rescue animals and the therapeutic benefits that they provide.

By engaging with the therapeutic team of a mental health professional, a horse professional and one or more horses, we can impact and improve both the physiology–self-regulation–and the psychology–the patterns of thinking–of our clients, creating lasting change well beyond the therapeutic benefits of simply being with animals.

What you will be learning: Learn what equine assisted psychotherapy sessions look like, how it works, and the benefits/impact of this unique intervention. At this training, you will learn about equine behavior, how they work well with our clients, interventions used, how to refer clients, and what further training is needed to do this type of work if interested in pursuing animal assisted psychotherapy.

Read More
Puzzle pieces
Scroll to the top of the page