Equine Assisted Psychotherapy & Learning

“Tell me and I may forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand” ~ Unknown ~

What is Equine Assisted Psychotherapy?

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning. It is a collaborative effort between a licensed therapist, an equine specialist and one or more horses working with clients to address treatment goals. Because of its intensity and effectiveness, it is considered a short-term therapy.

The focus of EAP is not riding or horsemanship or even completing the task, the learning is within the process as it unfolds. Our format revolves around ground based games, activities and or tasks involving the horses which will require the client or group to apply certain skills. Although our format is primarily ground based, it can change based on the individual needs of our client.

Participants learn about themselves and others by engaging in these activities with the horses, and then processing (or discussing) feelings, behaviors, and or patterns with a Licensed Mental Health Professional. Through experiential and metaphoric learning clients will quickly learn to recognize patterns of behavior and then apply the needed changes in order to move forward sooner than traditional therapy.  Horses hold us instantly accountable for our actions and emotions. Their sensitivity to nonverbal stimulus and ability to mirror human emotion helps them “read” people reflecting group and individual emotions through observable and physical feedback.

EAP is a powerful and effective therapeutic approach that has an incredible impact on individuals, youth, families, and groups. EAP addresses a variety of mental health and human development needs including behavioral issues, attention deficit disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders, abuse issues, depression, anxiety, relationship problems and communication needs to name

What is Equine Assisted Learning?

Equine assisted learning utilizes our trained coaches and one or more horses in our ground based activities format geared towards bringing about an awareness of how we work, communicate, process, and in general live our lives with others but does not incorporate a Licensed Mental Health Professional. It is a great way to learn about yourself and become a better you while learning to navigate life’s challenges through horses.

Benefits of EAP & EAL

  • Increased self-esteem and confidence
  • Anger and anxiety management
  • Relationship building skills
  • Communication skills
  • Emotional awareness
  • Boundary setting
  • Increased self-discipline and responsibility
  • Empathy and respect for others
  • Stress management
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Life transitions

Please call us today to schedule a consultation for you or a family member

Why Horses?

Those who are familiar with horses recognize and understand the power of horses to influence people in incredibly powerful ways.  Developing relationships, training, horsemanship instruction, and caring for horses naturally affects the people involved in a positive manner.

The benefit of work ethic, responsibility, assertiveness, communication, and healthy relationships has long been recognized. Horses naturally provide these benefits. Naturally intimidating to many, horses are large and powerful. This creates a natural opportunity for some to overcome fear and develop confidence. Working alongside a horse, in spite of those fears, creates confidence and provides wonderful insight when dealing with other intimidating and challenging situations in life.

Like humans, horses are social animals, with defined roles within their herds.  They would rather be with their peers. They have distinct personalities, attitudes and moods; an approach that works with one horse won’t necessarily work with another.  At times, they seem stubborn and defiant.  They like to have fun.  In other words, horses provide vast opportunities for metaphorical learning, an effective technique when working with even the most challenging individuals or groups.

Horses require us to work, whether in caring for them or working with them.  In an era when immediate gratification and the “easy way” are the norm, horses require people to be engaged in physical and mental work to be successful, a valuable lesson in all aspects of life.

Most importantly, horses mirror human body language.  Many complain, “This horse is stubborn.  That horse doesn’t like me,” etc.  The lesson is that if they change themselves, the horses respond differently.  Horses are honest, which makes them especially powerful messengers.

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