Don Lavender

Don Lavender

Don Lavender, BA, MDiv

Programme Director

  • Expertise Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Philosophy
  • Education Master of Divinity, Master’s Degree With Education and Training in Management, Administration and Counselling (CPE) at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology


  • Author, 'Equine Utilised Psychotherapy: Dance with Those That Run with Laughter'.
  • Co-Founder with Wife Meena, Camino Recovery.
  • Pioneered equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) in the US and UK during the 1990s.


Don, born in Louisiana to Shamanic-descendant Native Americans (matriarchal side), pursued theology after growing up on a farm with three siblings. He later specialised in addiction studies in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, achieving an M.Div and additional studies in Management, Administration, and Counselling. With a background in Philosophy, he found his calling as a priest, offering support to Step 5s in local treatment centres.

For over 40 years, Don has dedicated himself to addiction and psychiatric behavioural health, working internationally at esteemed centres like Sierra Tucson, Cottonwood, and The Priory, Europe, and the Middle East. He excelled in “family systems work” in the addiction field.

Beyond his professional achievements, Don assisted in pioneering equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) in the US (1990s) and the UK since 2002. The author of the book “Equine Utilized Psychotherapy: Dance With Those That Run With Laughter,” (circa 2006) explains simply why and how it works. He gained media recognition, including appearances on shows like ‘The Trisha Show’ and a feature in The Daily Telegraph.

In the early 2000s, Don and his wife, Meena, established Camino Recovery in Spain. For over a decade and a half, they have been providing tailored and diverse addiction treatment programs with a focus on helping people find a happier way of life.

Besides his work at Camino Recovery, Don enjoys travelling with Meena, spending time with family and working on DIY projects.

More from Don Lavender
Woman holding a glass with alcohol

Powerlessness in Addiction

An individual who feels powerless may believe they are unable to stop or change their addictive behaviours or patterns even though they have made many genuine attempts to do so.

This sense of inadequacy can fuel the cycle of addiction by undermining an individual’s sense of self, confidence and motivation for change and recovery.

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