Equine Therapy is Time Spent in Nature
Equine therapy is a treatment technique that involves patients taking care of horses. You would engage in activities such as grooming, haltering, feeding, and leading the horse. This type of therapy involves being supervised by a mental health professional and the support of a horse professional. This method is also most effective for those who have not shown improvement in therapy or counseling. Before and after working with the horse, the therapist observes and interacts with the patient to analyze behavior patterns as well as process thoughts and emotions. The goal of equine therapy is to help develop the skills and characteristics that the patient needs such as responsibility, self-confidence, self control, and problem-solving skills.
The patient can experience many benefits when interacting with a horse. Horses do not judge and they have no pre-conceived expectations or motives. The horse will mirror the attitudes and behaviors of the patient which will get the patient a sense of trust. The patient will develop empathy, emotional awareness, social responsibility, impulse control, interpersonal relationships, and much more out of equine therapy. There are also a number of conditions that can be treated with equine therapy such as substance abuse, trauma, mood disorders, eating disorders, autism, grief, compulsive gambling, and more.
Equine therapy is also beneficial to those struggling with addiction. The patient will have a new focus to replace the former, unhealthy habits that led to their harmful addiction. They will also learn to take responsibility and keep up a regular schedule with the horse. Therapy counseling with a therapist is combined with equine therapy in order to examine the patient’s outlook on life, their future, and their actions after working with the horse. Because the horse will provide the patient with love and trust, the patient will be able to feed off of that and learn appropriate human behaviors.
Patients can also learn different moods, body language, and vocal tones from the horse that they will be able to use when interacting with humans. If patients feel like they have a newfound sense of purpose, it will be easier for them to let go of abusive substances. Their stress levels will be lowered as well as easing withdrawals. Equine therapy can be the key for addicts to overcome their addiction as building connections, being selfless, and being responsible with a horse are important qualities that can help you succeed in everyday life.
Castle Craig Hospital is a landmark of addiction and mental health treatment in Scotland, serving the UK, the EU, and patients from all over the world. Our commitment to long term abstinence has created a successful program of clinical and complementary therapies for mind, body, and spirit. Serving over 10,000 patients for more than 25 years, the Castle Craig model is proven in changing lives. Call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line for information: 0808 231 7723. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | October 24, 2017