Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)
Equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) is an emerging treatment modality that utilizes horse-handling activities to generate powerful therapeutic symbolic metaphors that reflect how each individual relates to self and others. With the support of peers, and Rites equine specialist and an attending clinical therapist, students examine these metaphors to gain insight into their fears, habits, and unconscious ways of relating. As issues arise within the equine setting, students have opportunities to work toward the understanding and healing of those issues.
Therapeutic Horseback Riding is a form of physical and mental health therapy for people who have a range of disabilities including physical, emotional, cognitive, and social difficulties. Horses provide a tool for physical therapy, emotional growth, and cognitive improvement, in a unique format that is fun, exhilarating, and sometimes has the power to change a person’s perspective on life! Besides the physical benefits derived from therapeutic riding, the contact with the animal is a powerful experience, and the strong bond that is usually experienced has a profound, uplifting effect on people who are troubled or suffering.
About Horse Riding Therapy
Because the gait of a horse when walking is a gentle, repetitive movement, it moves the rider’s body in way that is very similar to the human gait; riders often achieve greater flexibility, muscle strength, and balance besides the benefit to their overall mental health. This type of therapy can improve balance, posture, mobility, reactive time, as well as improve problems such as emotional, cognitive, behavioral, communicative, and social malfunction.
Many riders, both able-bodied and those with challenges to overcome, form a strong connection to the horse that they cannot get from most sports. For individuals with emotional problems, the unique relationship that is formed with the horse can result in increased confidence, self-esteem, and patience. The sense of wonder and independence that is experienced while riding on a horse is universally beneficial.
Horse Assisted Therapy program componets:
The equine assisted psychotherapy part of the larger Heroic Journey Program that helps to bring each client back to a healthier more holistic sense of self. The main goal of this program is to bring the client back into a state of balance so that they can value themselves and allow themselves to change and make new decisions about how to live their lives.
From Victim to Victory
Victim to Victory is the equine assisted psychotherapy part of the larger Trauma Program that is a main component used by all clients who enter the facility.
Communication 101 program is the equine assisted psychotherapy part of the larger Communication program that is a main component used by all clients who enter the facility.
Helpless to Health
Helpless to Health program is the equine assisted eating disorder program that runs along with the larger Eating disorder program that is a specialty component and can be used with clients with eating disorder issues.
Changing Leads Program is the equine assisted substance addiction program that is a specialty component and can be used with clients with alcohol and substance abuse issues alongside the substance relapse therapy program as needed.