Why Equine Assisted Psychotherapy?
Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy & Personal Development is experiencing rapid growth around the globe. Why? In two words: STRONG OUTCOMES! Equine Assisted Therapy often produces quicker & more effective change & growth than traditional clinical and psycho-educational approaches. Reason being that people typically learn best by doing! Life lessons take deeper root when individuals both understand them cognitively, as well as experience them kinesthetically. Working with horses beautifully marries the two - it is engaging, in the moment, and hands-on. The encounter is immediate & wholly experienced by the client.
Horses are large and powerful! This creates a natural opportunity for the client to overcome fear. Working alongside a horse, in spite of those fears, develops confidence and provides wonderful insight, when dealing with other intimidating & challenging life situations.
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, yet they like to have fun! In other words, socially horses are a lot like us! When we work on our relationship with the horse, we are ultimately gaining the skills necessary to improve our relationships with others.
Horses respond to who we are in the moment. They are profoundly gifted reflectors of our true selves because their very survival depends on reading us correctly.
With the horse’s ability to read & respond to the nonverbal messages we are constantly sending through our body language, they begin to act in ways that feel familiar to the relationships or situations in our own lives. They become our spouse, partner, colleague, children, dreams, fears, addictions, etc. This gives the client a chance to work through those relationships & issues in a safe, nonjudgmental environment.
Therefore, when a client assumes, "This horse is stubborn” or “This horse doesn't like me," the lesson then becomes that by changing our approach, the horse responds differently. They provide immediate feedback to real changes that are put into action. Even when we feel stuck or hopeless, the horse continues to move & make changes, which in turn gives clients the nudge to persevere. Clients repeatedly report that the horse becomes exactly what is needed in the moment.
In most cases, all the therapy is done on ground, performing activities with the horse that help to reveal to the client how they approach situations & people in their lives. How they communicate, how they lead, how they make assumptions of the horse’s behavior, provides enlightenment into their own behavior. This in turn helps the client either learn to adapt, or attempt a different approach to reach the same goal.
Therapy will always include a horse specialist, a mental health professional, and a horse.
Who is Equine Assisted Therapy for?
Equine Assisted Therapy covers a broad spectrum of needs! Just to list a few...
Corporate Team Building
Contact Horse ‘N Soul at our Therapeutic Line at 724-914-7300 to learn if this program will suit your needs.