1190 Jefferson Street Suite 102 Washington, MO 63090US

(636) 390-4422

Welcome to Counseling Concepts

Dina Vitoux, LCSW

Dina has been in private practice in Franklin County since 1991.  Dina has her undergraduate degree from  University of Missouri-Columbia in Child and Family Development and her  Masters of Social Work from University of Kansas in 1987.  She has  extensive training and experience with sexual abuse, trauma resolution  therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  Dina also has over 30 years  experience in play therapy as well as providing therapy to adolescence  through adulthood.  Dina also enjoys helping children and families  make a successful transition through divorce/custody, crisis situations,  anxiety, parenting, peer and education issues.  Dina also has extensive  training in working with children that exhibit attachment issues and  challenging behaviors.  She has experience helping clients with  depression, anxiety, bipolar, oppositional behaviors, post traumatic  stress, ADD/ADHD, relationships issues, stress management, self-esteem  building, and adjustment issues.  Dina uses a client centered, solution  focused approach to therapy.

Dina has been very active advocating for child abuse victims.  She has  worked at the Children's Advocacy Center as a forensic interviewer and  mental health coordinator.  Dina is also on the faculty for Finding  Words/Child First Missouri for over twelve years.  This is an intensive  40 hour training teaching professionals about child sexual abuse  investigations, interviewing, and prosecution.  Dina also consults with  prosecuting attorneys as well as serving as an expert witness in child  abuse cases.  Dina was a founding member of Franklin County CASA and  currently serves as an ambassador for the program.  Dina also currently  serves on the board for the Children's Advocacy Center of East Central  Missouri and received the Child Advocate of the year award in 2010. 


Intake Assessment Forms

DinaDiagnostic Summary ICD 10 R7 -fillable-d (pdf)


DinaDiagnostic Summary ICD 10 R7 (docx)


Equine Experience

Equine assisted Psychotherapy


What is Equine Assisted Psychotherapy?

Equine  Assisted Psychotherapy is an experiential treatment approach that  provides the client with equine experiences designed to enhance  self-awareness and promote healing.  Equine Experience program has been  running since December 1998.  Dina Vitoux is the program developer and  the facilitator.  Dina is very excited about the therapeutic benefits  that she has observed with clients.

Most  of the clients that have participated in the program have been children  that have not had success in other treatment approaches.  The majority  of participants to date have been male clients ranging in age from six  to seventeen.  Although females are notoriously lovers of horses, males  tend to be less verbal and are more difficult to engage in more  traditional “talk” therapy.  Using metaphors of horse behaviors has  allowed access to topics of discussion that were previously off limits  in the office setting.

Sessions  consist of specific activities developed to address the client’s  therapy goals.  These are primarily unmounted activities although some  do involve riding.  The activities let the client practice specific  behaviors and experience immediate feedback from the horse and the  therapist.  For some clients, just interacting with the horse relaxes  them so they are capable of talking openly about their problems.

Equine  Assisted Psychotherapy has been used successfully for individuals,  groups, and family therapy.  Activities range from team building and  problem solving activities to activities creating parallel situation  from the client’s own situations and issues.

Who Can Benefit From Equine Assisted Psychotherapy?

Clients  that have participated in Equine Experience have had issues such as  attention-deficit disorder, depression, conduct disorders, attachment  issues, Asperger, low self-esteem, and post-traumatic stress.

Clients  have worked on developing communication skills, problem solving, anger  management, conflict resolution, social skills, empathy training,  learning assertive behaviors, and developing body awareness.

Commonly Asked Questions about Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

How does Equine Assisted Psychotherapy help clients with psycho social healing and growth?

Specially designed interactive experiences can promote healing and growth through:

- Improving self-esteem and self-awareness

- Developing trust in a safe environment

- Providing social skills training

- Encouraging sensory stimulation and integration

- Combining body awareness exercises with motor planning and verbal communication

- Developing decision making and goal setting skills

- Developing sequencing and problem solving skills

- Encouraging responsibility

- Breaks down defense barriers 

- Captivates and holds attention

What is the difference between Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and other types of therapeutic riding programs?

Equine  Assisted Psychotherapy is facilitated by a licensed mental health  professional in a clearly designed therapeutic space and setting, with  the intent to promote healing and growth.  Equine Assisted Psychotherapy  uses minimal riding but is primarily ground work focused on building  relationships and psychosocial skills.  Therapeutic riding program use  the horse and a physical therapist to promote muscle strength and  physical healing.

What is the difference between Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and horseback riding lessons?

EAP  is a counseling session, led by a licensed mental health professional,  using the horse as a co-facilitator to achieve therapeutic treatment  goals.  Clients do learn some training, relationship, and leadership  skills to challenge their level of patience and personal understanding.   Riding lessons emphasize riding technique.  Although successful  participation in any sport activity can facilitate positive self-esteem,  a riding instructor or coach is typically not trained to do  psychotherapy or address some of the challenges that the clients  present.

How do I pay for services?

Because  Equine Experience is a counseling session with a licensed clinical  social worker, services may be reimbursed by your insurance.  Services  are billed as an individual counseling session.  Program fees are  available upon request.

I’m interested, what do I do next?

Call  and set up an assessment appointment with Dina Vitoux.  In this session  your questions will be answered and current treatment goals will be  discussed.  Dina will use this information to determine if this type of  therapeutic intervention is most appropriate for the client.  Assessment  information will also be used to develop a specific treatment plan  prior to attending a session at the farm.


EAP may not be appropriate for a client if they are:

            -suicidal or homicidal

            - Actively delirious, dissociative, psychotic, or have dementia

            - Medically unstable

            - Actively abusing substances.


Precaution should be used if a client has:

- History of animal abuse

- History of fire setting

- History of seizure disorder

- Medication side effects

- Stress induced reactive airway disease (asthma)

- Migraines

To  facilitate a trusting, nurturing environment, safety of the client and  the horse are a primary consideration.  Sessions are conducted at a  private farm to assure confidentiality.  The farm is located between  Washington and Union.