Healing... Confidence... Self Esteem
Equine-assisted psychotherapy focuses on individuals managing mental or substance use disorders, cognitive issues, and other disorders. While still a form of “talk” therapy, EAP allows clients to use multiple senses to process their underlying emotional issues and mental health challenges.
Patients partner and bond with horses to achieve equine-assisted growth, a form of personal advancement that comes in conjunction to the relationship with the horse.
Equine assisted therapy differs from therapeutic riding in that it can involve working with horses in a non-riding capacity. Participants may engage in activities such as grooming, feeding, and leading the horse. Equine assisted therapies can help individuals develop a sense of responsibility and empathy towards others, which can be beneficial for those struggling with addiction and mental health.
The outdoor environment and use of animals lend a unique, positive dimension to the experience that is different than traditional therapy. During each session, clients may ride or work with horses while a mental health professional helps the individual process certain emotions and memories.
Participants usually learn all aspects of horse care, including grooming, saddling and riding. Riding horses is an effective an major component of equine therapy programs, but the act of caring for a horse can have its own therapeutic benefits, as participants learn to exercise care over another being.
In doing so, they may overcome their own psychological challenges, which often involve caring for themselves. Equine assisted therapy shows participants that they are capable of looking after another living thing, and thus prepares them to look after themselves via equine assisted learning. For people with eating disorders, substance use disorders, and other psychiatric ailments that threaten their physical wellbeing, equine assisted therapies can be a major step forward.