Equine-assisted psychotherapy is beneficial for patients of all ages who suffer from social and emotional disorders. It was designed to promote emotional growth through the simulation of various interaction scenarios, with horses as counterparts in those examples. The non-expectant and non-judgmental nature of horses makes them prime candidates on whom people with emotional disorders can practice metaphorical interaction scenarios. Equine-assisted psychotherapy allows patients to learn the distinction between proper and dysfunctional behavior and get a fuller understanding of what constitutes a healthy relationship. Among the more popular and proven forms of experimental therapy, equine therapy has been very successful in the world of child psychology.
Equine-assisted psychotherapy sessions are conducted with no more than eight patients at a time. Patients initiate interaction and establish relationships with horses. The process of nurturing the relationship and learning about social behavior continues over the course of therapy. The horse helps to establish emotional awareness through reactions to the patients’ behavior, enabling the patient to gain a fuller understanding of attitudes, relationships, emotions, and social boundaries. When the course of therapy is completed, patients reflect on what they’ve learned and apply it to the rest of their treatment, as well as their personal relationships outside of their program.
Patients who undergo equine-assisted psychotherapy experience numerous psychological benefits:
All equine therapy should be performed by a trained and licensed equine therapist for the optimal results and guaranteed safety. All reputable facilities will offer an expert staff and a safe environment.
The National Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Information Center (NASAIC) maintains a continuously updated national database of the leading equine-assisted psychotherapy centers in the United States.
Contact the National Alcohol and Substance Abuse Information Center anytime toll-free at (800)-784-6776 or through our online form, and we will recommend the best equine assisted psychotherapy specialist for you or your loved one.