Animals have been known to offer an extraordinary amount of emotional support to humans. Since ages, we have been keeping animals as pets building a bond of trust and love. But beyond the compassion we share with pets, animals are used in various therapeutic treatments to help people overcome emotional and physical traumas. Therapeutic riding programs offered in many parts of the states make use of horses to treat people with a wide range of physical and psychological ailments.
Equine assisted psychotherapy or EAP involves horses in treating a person suffering from psychological as well as physical issues. For someone with a physical disability or special needs, riding or even being around a massive horse may be intimidating. However, riding a horse gives such people a sense of achievement, confidence, and boosts their self-esteem. No doubt there is an increased inquiry for therapeutic riding near me since the past few years.
There are various names and forms know equine assisted psychotherapy:
- Equine assisted mental health
- Equine assisted counseling
- Equine facilitated psychotherapy
- Equine assisted therapy
Who is it for?
As mentioned earlier, EAP is used to treat a wide range of physical and psychological issues. The therapy is beneficial for kids and adults alike can be tailored as per the condition on the patient and their goals.
Often, equine assisted therapy is not an individual therapy but rather a part of therapy. EAP is suggested along with other traditional treatments.
Unlike talk therapy, equine assisted therapy doesn’t require the patient to speak or talk about their issues. Instead, they move outdoors and explore other means to communicate their feeling and emotions.
Children and Teens
Like adults, children and teens can significantly benefit from the therapy. Children and teens are vulnerable to trauma, PSTD, environmental changes, depression, and substance abuse. Through equine therapy, they get a calming environment where they feel much safer and free.
Children often find it hard to communicate their feeling or express their traumas in words. With the help of EAT, they learn new ways to process their emotions and communicate better.
Equine Therapy can help children with:
- Emotional awareness
- Social skills
- Trust in self
- Trust in others
- Impulse control
- Problem-solving skills
- Developing and maintaining relationships
Benefits of EAT
Non-Judgmental and Unbiased:Most often, it is hard for people to open up about their traumas to a therapist. No matter how hard a therapist may try, he cannot get deep into the emotions of his client. Besides, it takes time to build a therapeutic bond with the doctor. Since horse offers a sense of peace and calm, having a horse around during a therapy session can help the patient to ease up and open more.
Identifying and Processing Feelings
Horses have known to reflect back the emotions around them and possess the ability to help a human identify their feelings. If an angry person tries to walk a horse, the horse would refuse to move or may even yank. The process helps the patient to learn how to identify their emotions and work towards overcoming them.