White River Manor is open during lockdown in South Africa

White River Manor is a registered essential service provider and amidst the COVID-19 pandemic continues to offer a world class therapetic Program. We have taken every precaution to maintain the integrity of our environment and screen clients both before and on arrival. Our staff too undergo regular testing and screening to ensure the safety of our clients.

    Master’s in Clinical Psychology

    Equine-Assisted Therapist

    Caroline Erdmann

    Caroline is a clinical psychologist, a highly experienced and trained equine-assisted psychotherapist, and a practitioner of non-violent communication (NVC), nature therapy and breathwork.


    Since joining White River Manor in August 2022, Caroline has integrated with our team perfectly. Her radiant empathy and exceptional experience are valued by staff and

    clients alike. Just being in her presence, you immediately feel a sense of safety and calm.

    The respect she shows for her clients is palpable.


    Caroline’s journey in the therapy profession began when she gave up a rock-and-roll lifestyle in Germany to study clinical psychology, a subject she fell in love with. Caroline also fell in love with the nature, diversity, and freedom she found in South Africa when she came to collect data for her thesis on racism and sexism.


    Caroline completed her degree, graduating with a Master’s in Clinical Psychology. She

    furthered her skills by training in systemic and integrative therapy, which included psychodrama and bodywork. In addition, Caroline trained in logotherapy – a therapeutic approach that helps people find personal meaning in life. She then discovered equine-assisted psychotherapy.


    Horses played a big part in Caroline’s life from an early age, so it was a natural step for her to combine her two passions in life. Caroline loved the idea that she could facilitate a mental

    health treatment incorporating horses that gave a safe space for people to discover their answers. In her own words:


    “It may seem like an odd mix – psychotherapy and horses – but horses are social creatures,

    just like us. They live in groups and have roles within the herd, just as we do in our social

    systems like families. As prey animals, they are highly sensitive to their surroundings and

    give us non-verbal authentic feedback on how we show up in the space. That gives us the opportunity to learn a lot about ourselves.


    “In the sessions, the paddock becomes a storyboard and the horses and everything in the

    vicinity have the potential to become a character of the story, even the client and myself. It is a metaphorical space where we work a lot with observations. This therapeutic

    process enables a person to open up and speak of things they wouldn’t be able to in a

    normal face-to-face therapy session.”


    Caroline guides clients according to their goals which are discussed prior to the session.


    “The client is the author. I am the co-author. We develop the story together.”


    The magic of Caroline’s extraordinary therapeutic skill is summed up in a few words by one of her clients: “She [Caroline] whispered in my ear without saying a word, and I started talking.”


    Caroline is also a great advocate of the healing power of nature. It is why the idyllic rural surroundings of White River Manor appealed to her so much.


    “I see great value in helping people to remember that we are part of nature. Nature therapy is a relational practice that helps to bring us back to our inner and outer nature and through connection with nature we can connect to ourselves. Additionally, being amongst trees has a very positive impact on our well-being. Research shows that nature therapy supports boosted immune functions, improved cardiovascular and respiratory health, and a reduction in stress levels, blood sugar, and blood pressure.”


    One of the things Caroline loves most about her work is assisting individuals to find meaning in simplicity. Caroline is committed to helping clients find meaning and hope and supporting them to grow on an intra- and interpersonal level.


    “My job is amazing. I feel privileged to be able to connect with people on their healing journey. My sole aims working at White River Manor are to bring peace and help people ignite their passion for life.”


    Caroline says one of her most meaningful moments at White River was hearing a client say she felt like she had wandered close to the edge but that now she wanted to be here and live again.