Did you know that Equestrian therapy, also known as Equine Assisted Therapy, treats trauma survivors and their entire family?
Equestrian Therapy is known in trauma therapy industries as Equine Assisted Therapy (EAP). In fact, this style of therapy involves horses as a way to build emotional growth. Those unfamiliar with this method of treating PTSD may find it quite unorthodox. Specifically, because it gives trauma victims therapeutic care in a setting unlike what the general public is familiar with. Typically, trauma therapy would take place within the walls of the therapists office.
However, Equestrian therapy has proven that clients experience less pressure talking about their trauma and correlating issues to an animal. At the same time, they are completing an activity assigned by their therapist. In turn, resulting in higher success reached in far less time than common therapy. In other words, most Equine Assisted therapy programs are six months long. Instead of several years it may take in private counseling to make headway in one’s PTSD recovery.
PTSD survivors participating in activities using a horse achieve long-lasting results. Primarily, because they process feelings, behaviors, and patterns designed from a particular exercise. The setting removes the pressure or qualms that a therapists office can induce. Especially for adolescents, naturally responding better in a less intimidating setting.
Basic Understanding of Equestrian Therapy
Many benefits a PTSD survivor will reveal noticable development of his or her own personal growth. For example, Equine Assisted Therapy combines the expertise of a licensed therapist, a horse trainer, and a client with mental or physical disabilities. Additionally, both children and adaults can enroll into equestrian therapy.
Important to point out, the objective of Equestrian Therapy isn’t riding or owning a horse. Instead, most activities are done on the ground. In most cases, the horses are not ridden, and usually are not tethered in the arena, but allowed to roam free. Exercises are as simple as giving the client a halter, and letting them figure out how to approach the horse and put it on.
Given that, why horses? Animal-assisted therapy has shown evidenced-based health improvements in trauma affected clients. With attention to combat and non-combat related PTSD, depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, and dissociative disorders, just to name a few. The intent of gaining a clear understanding of one’s self definitely fosters positive emotional growth. Equestrian therapists recognize the friendly bond between animals and humans. In turn, leads to emotional healing from a client’s quality time spent with their horse companion.
Equine Assisted Therapy Breaks Through Barriers
Essentially, equestrian therapy reveals what PTSD survivors always wish for but are challenging to overcome. For most, they’ve felt tremendous guilt from having PTSD. New potential mental health issues piggy-back PTSD, only making matters worse. Basically, when someone suffers the effects of PTSD, or associated mental illness, it tarnishes their perception of self-worth. Although this may be true for most, equine assisted therapy can better manage symptoms and triggers. At the same time, teaching them how to break through these inhibiting barriers. All in all, producing a stronger, self-confident, and very capable individual.
First, confidence is attained through learning a new skill. In this case, assisted equine therapy trains each client how to care for their horse. In effect, eliminates insecurities developed during their PTSD recovery. Becoming aware of one’s ability to undertake new projects leads to a healthier self-esteem. Then, experiencing harmony with an animal promotes a renewed sense of accomplishment. Motivation soon replaces feelings of inability by empowering them to try new methods towards recovery. Next, Horses’ sensitivity to non-verbal communication reinforces recognizing a PTSD survivor’s emotions. Equestrian therapy relates non-verbal cues to an essential role of non-verbal communication in personal relationships.
More to Gain From Equestrian Therapy
Trusting an animal such as a horse begins a process of restoring a client’s trust in their world around them. For example, PTSD victims who once trusted people or a specific person may have been violated. Consequently, causing severe trust issues. Equine assisted therapy guides someone through such traumatic experiences in order to find security in trusting people again. Another benefit from Equestrian therapy is gaining new healthy perspectives. Overall, through taking care of their horse, through cleaning and feeding, clients are “in the moment”. Ultimately, they’re able to take focus off their mental illness and focuse on caring for an animal they’ve bonded with. Imagine the relief from lost in a mindset of depressive ruminating. But, instead devoting attention and interests toward interacting with their horse. Although guided by a specially trained counselor, equestrian therapy undoubtedly is one of the top treatment programs.
In fact, we aren’t shocked at all to see several studies of human-animal interaction, more common equestrian therapy. Reports indicate that contact with animals quickly lowers anxiety levels. Although, there are PTSD survivors who are initially afraid of horses. That actually relates to most people in general. But Equine assisted therapy horse’s unique personalities and affection alleviate these fears. Influencing clients to embrace exposure therapy regarding their anxiety issues.
Consider Trying Equine Assisted ATherapy
Several PTSD survivors have been traumatized from a former partner who created a controlling and abusive relationship. Resulting in toxic damage done to the victim. Trust is very hard for domestic violence victims to regain. That’s why Equine Assisted Therapy, begins with a mutually respectful relationship. A client and their horse build a healthy companionship. And, it only takes little time invested before experiencing this type of bond. Horse friends observe decreased isolation and finding self-acceptance once again. People in equestrian therapy will notice this first. Generally, shaping necessary social skills in a significant way. Such as, communicating appropriately through assertiveness. And lastly, pushing oneself outside of their comfort zones.
Overall, most people and families facing mental illness, like PTSD, have been emotionally inhibited. In other words, over-controlled, resulting in loss of estimated inspiration and spontaneity. Ending on a positive note, the playful perspective of riding, as well as, equestrian therapy involves activities that restore a client’s desire for healthy recreation and play. Before you go, you’re invited to read a couple of valuable articles that are most popular reads on ptsdwifey.com. Visit this website often. It’ll be a huge resource during recovery. A journey PTSD survivors choose to embark upon.