Our Equine Assisted Therapy follows the Eagala (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) Model and always involves a team of four members:
- The client(s)
- A licensed mental health professional
- A certified equine specialist
- A herd of horses
These one-on-one or group sessions are structured to meet therapeutic goals set by the mental health professional or the client(s) ahead of time. No previous horse experience is necessary.
All of the work is done from the ground with the horses front and center and allowed to interact with the client as they wish. This creates the space for the client, with the support of the professional facilitators to reflect, project, and make deep connections.
Horses are intelligent prey animals who have evolved to be extremely sensitive to their environment. They instinctively analyze and react to our body language and other nonverbal cues, providing valuable feedback and insights for different areas of our lives. Approaching horses can help us reflect on how we approach our relationships and face what may seem like big or overwhelming things in our lives. Horses are social animals with defined roles within a herd. They have distinct personalities, attitudes, and moods. They could be stubborn, or they could be playful. In other words, horses are a lot like us.
Equine Assisted Therapy can be used and is effective in 1:1, family and group therapy settings, and it has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD*, specifically.
Issues that can be addressed during Equine Assisted Therapy sessions include, but are not limited to:
- Substance Use Disorders
- Grief & Loss
- Trauma & PTSD
- Identity Formation
- Parent-Child Relationship Challenges
* Equine-assisted therapy for anxiety and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Earles JL, Vernon LL, Yetz JP J Trauma Stress. 2015 Apr; 28(2):149-52.
* Lefkowitz C, Prout M, Bleiberg J, Paharia I, Debiak D. Animal-assisted prolonged exposure: A treatment for survivors of sexual assault suffering posttraumatic stress disorder. Soc Anim. 2005; 13(4): 275–96.
* Holmes CM, Goodwin D, Redhead ES, Goymour KL. The benefits of equine-assisted activities: An exploratory study. Child Adolesc Social Work J. 2012; 29(2): 111–2
Additional Therapy Options
Family therapy can provide a safe space to communicate challenges that not only affect us as an individual, but also impact the family system as a whole.
Group therapy is a great way for your child to connect with, and learn from a small group of individuals who are experiencing similar challenges.
Crisis Support can be helpful if your child is experiencing significant emotional distress without actually being in a physically dangerous situation.