Equine Assisted Therapy has been used for quite some time, helping people with mental health problems (such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders) and developmental issues. Today this alternative treatment approach is being used in many Addiction Treatment Centers throughout the United States. These programs are run by chemical dependency counselors with certification in Animal Assisted Therapies. These specialists help patients to open up within a safe environment, surrounded by animals that do not judge, they offer trust and companionship as long as they are treated with love and respect.
What is Equine Assisted Therapy?
Equine Assisted Therapy incorporates horses with mental and behavioral health therapy. A licensed therapist and a certified animal assisted therapy specialist work with clients and horses to address treatment goals. During these sessions, clients will learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses. They will then process (or discuss) feelings, behaviors, and patterns with their therapist in both individual and group settings.
The Focus of Equine Assisted Therapy
The focus of Equine Assisted Therapy is not ridding or horsemanship, but a carefully planed ground activities involving the horses which will require the client or group to apply certain skills. Clients will utilize numerous tools during equine assisted therapy sessions, including; Non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking and problem-solving, leadership, work, taking responsibility, teamwork and relationships, and confidence. This is a skills developing program that uses horses to help clients overcome their fears, open up socially, emotionally and mentally to move forward in the healing process.