Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and the Substance Abuse Client
At Equulibrium®, we offer Equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP) as an integral part of our program. EAP is an experiential mode of psychotherapy with horses, delivered by a licensed mental health professional and a team of experts. The equine activities are primarily non-mounted but mounted activities are also included. Equine activities are specifically designed to achieve treatment goals. We incorporate movement, art, and sharing discussions in group sessions. The purpose of the activities is to provide an experiential intervention with immediate feedback in order to help clients embody their experience and therefore reinforce shifts in perception,attitude and behavior.
Our program provides a non-judgmental, person centered, humanistic approach that simultaneously challenges and supports the client. Because of their nature, horses live in the moment; when we partner up with them, a deep connection develops and we begin to open up to the possibility of experiencing a relationship. Healing is achieved by treating the whole person; reconnecting them with the world, nature, animals, and most importantly with themselves.
Equulibrium’s® EAP Program is a complementary addition to a treatment facility’s program. Enhancing each client’s treatment journey by contributing to self-awareness of destructive behavioral patterns in the process of discovering their authentic self with the wisdom of the herd, clients are able to explore healthier options.
In the context of working with the horses, clients are able to rebuild trust and explore a deep connection with themselves, which can be transferred 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, balance, and self-efficacy.
Participants will often achieve shifts in perception regarding their relationships and the way they have looked at life in the past. While recognizing negative thoughts and unhealthy patterns of behavior, clients realize their possible options in the process. Clients are encouraged to bring back their newfound insights to the treatment facility and thus continue to use them as part of their healing journey.
We offer optional onsite follow-up through Creative Healing™ creating a cohesive therapeutic bridge connecting your treatment center’s program format with Equulibrium’s®. Our anecdotal research has shown working as a team for the betterment of the client imprints long term opportunities for change.