Equine Assisted Therapy and Therapeutic Activities
The benefit of equine assisted therapeutic activities has received much attention over the past few years. This powerful experience and treatment modality connects with clients on a variety of levels to achieve a broad spectrum of therapeutic results. It is the amazing relational power of the horse that helps clients discover their own patterns of relating and living life. Horse are completely emotionally honest and congruent and will reflect the emotional signals of a client, thus helping clients better understand themselves. Additionally, because of the size and potential power of a horse a client can experience a nurturing relationship from a position of vulnerability. Horses are by nature “herd” animals, which is extremely helpful in reflecting dynamics within a family or work environment and can help build unity and communication skills within the group.
Equine assisted therapy and therapeutic activities fall into two general categories, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Equine Assisted Learning and Coaching (EAL) Both are based on the emotionally reflective nature and metaphorical development of interactions with the horse. They are both usually facilitated with un-mounted activities with a horse or horses. No previous experience with a horse is necessary, and even if there is a fear of horses this can be utilized and usually overcome through the process of the sessions.
Equine Assisted Learning and Life Coaching
Equine Assisted Learning and Life Coaching promote self-awareness, and personal development through experiential learning. The sessions are conducted with a professional Life Coach and a certified equine specialist. Sometimes one person holds the qualifications in both areas and may choose to work with a client alone. This program helps a client discover personal “road-blocks” in their life and relationships and to build new skills to move forward in life. Equine assisted learning is helps individuals, couples and families needing transitional support during periods of family stress, foster care support, divorce, grief and loss, or job change. It is also helpful for building marriage communication skills, parenting skills and stress reducing coping skill for struggling teenagers. Additionally, this program is extremely helpful for victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and other emotional traumas. Clients learn skills to rebuild healthy relationships after experiencing victimization and/or trauma. Equine assisted coaching helps empower clients against future relational abuse.
Sessions focus on building personal emotional awareness, verbal and non-verbal communication congruence, empathy development, understanding and building appropriate trust and boundary setting, personal empowerment, stress reduction, and leadership skills. Sessions can be conducted for adults, adolescents or children. For more information on how Equine Life Coaching can help you, please contact us.
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is an experiential psychotherapy treatment. It is practiced by a licensed mental health professional in collaboration with an appropriately trained and certified equine specialist. Treatment goals are based on a client’s diagnosis and potential outcomes. This equine assisted modality has helpful in treating a variety of conditions including: depression, anxiety, bi-polar, substance-related and eating disorders, as well as PTSD. Many of the top mental health and residential treatment centers include equine assisted psychotherapy as one of their primary experiential therapies. At Envision, we can work in collaboration with your current licensed mental health professional or you can choose one from our referral network. Contact us for more information.