Many people feel they really don’t need therapy, they have received therapy in the past and they feel they are ready for something else or they believe they just need to get over particular roadblocks and digging into their childhood past does not seem very inviting. Whatever the reasons may be, it is a matter of style and choice and choosing to be coached instead is an option. There is a fine line between therapy and coaching and our program lends itself to do both. The main difference is that in coaching, the aim is not so much to help the client understand the past but rather to focus on the future and how to create opportunities. The Coach’s job is to provide the conditions whereby the client will be see their possibilities from a clear perspective.
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)
At Equulibrium® we offer Equine Assisted Psychotherapy as part of our interventions. It is a form of psychotherapy that utilizes an experiential model and includes the horses in the session. As is most psychotherapy models, it is the ethical responsibility of the therapist to be properly trained in these modalities and to have the adequate horse training in order to include horses.
Family Therapy (Equine Assisted Family Therapy)
When working with a family and incorporating the horses, we base our interventions on a system’s approach. The family is seen as a “complex system” and the issues are brought to the therapy session with the purpose of helping the family members become aware of their dynamics and help them improve their relationships.
Group Therapy (Equine Assisted Group Therapy)
Our groups can be open or closed as they would be run in a regular mental health setting. Some of the groups currently being held in the facility are:
• Drug Addiction
• Domestic Violence
• Cancer Survivors
Individual psychotherapy sessions are offered to clients who are seeking an intervention that will help them cope with life’s stresses. The sessions may or may not include the horses; depending on the needs of the client, they can be seen in an office, outdoors, or in the company of one or more horses.
Equine Program for Addiction Treatment:
The equine program for addiction treatment serves as a complementary addition to the treatment facility’s program. We incorporate the wisdom of the herd in the group activities. The humanistic nature of the program is contrasted with the presence of the equine partners. Clients participate in activities geared towards deepening self-awareness in order to overcome destructive patterns and develop new life skills.
In the context of working with the horses, clients are able to rebuild trust and explore a deep connection with themselves which is translated into human relationships. Entering the “arena of life” becomes a metaphor in which participants are invited to connect with their core strengths while becoming courageously vulnerable. The horse’s non-judgmental nature enhances a therapeutic environment geared towards facilitating internal alignment and balance.
Participants will often achieve shifts in perception regarding their relationships and the way they have looked at life in the past, recognizing negative thoughts and unhealthy patterns of behavior and realizing their options and possibilities in the process. Clients are encouraged to bring back their new found insights to the rehab facility and thus continue to use them as part of their healing journey.