Equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) is a popular and effective form of animal-assisted therapy. Like people, horses are curious and social creatures. Horses communicate through body language, which makes them excellent therapy partners in mental health and addiction treatment center programs.
Horses often mirror the emotional state of the person who is interacting with them. This provides instant feedback on feelings or thoughts that a person may not recognize in themselves but can recognize in the horse. A horse that is approached by someone who is agitated will likely behave in an agitated way as well, for example. This feedback can be used by the therapist as a foundation for individuals to learn how their behavior impacts others and how to improve their human relationships. As such, the benefits of equine therapy for drug addiction and poor mental health are valuable to both clients and therapists alike.
What Happens During Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy?
During equine-assisted therapy, participants groom, care for, walk, and interact with horses. The activity helps a trusting relationship to grow between the individual and the horse. For many people with addictions and other mental health disorders, relationships are not easy to build.
As clients work with horses, a therapist will use guided imagery and metaphors to help individuals. These individuals will understand the life lessons they can learn from the horses and how they can apply those lessons to their own lives and relationships. Communication skills, leadership skills, boundaries, trust, awareness of behavior, awareness of feelings, and increased focus are all common goals of equine therapy for drug addiction and mental health treatment programs.
Who Can Benefit From Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy?
Equine-assisted psychotherapy can be beneficial for people with a wide range of conditions, including:
- Emotional trauma
- Drug or alcohol addiction
The benefits of equine therapy are rewarding. The mere presence of a horse can have a calming and soothing effect. However, an equine therapy program therapist can ensure that you get the most out of your time with the horse.
Seek Help From Promises Behavioral Health
At Promises Behavioral Health, we offer help and hope for those who struggle with mental health issues and addictions of various types. Besides equine-assisted psychotherapy, we offer treatments such as
- Art therapy program
- Music therapy for addiction recovery
- Couples counseling program
- Eating disorder treatment centers
At Promises Behavioral Health, we offer an equine therapy program and many other programs focused on helping you achieve the long-lasting change in your life that you need. To start your journey to recovery, give us a call today at 844.875.5609. You’re only a phone call away from help.