Equine Therapy (Group IOP)
When engaging in equine therapy, you interact with horses. Equine therapy usually does not involve riding horses – participants will feed, groom, and lead horses when engaging in equine therapy. There will often be both a mental health professional and a horse professional present at equine therapy sessions.
- Horses can often help participants ‘tap into’ their inner emotions. When engaging with horses, the horses will mirror the participant’s body language and feelings – anxiety, calm, stubbornness, and more.
- Usually, the goals of equine therapy are to address emotional and behavioral challenges outside of a traditional treatment setting, and to develop and hone specific skills. Through participating in equine therapy, individuals can enhance their:
- Self confidence
- Problem solving skills
- Communication skills
- Ability to face their fears
- Equine therapy sessions usually occur at a facility specially designed for horseback riding and horse interactions.
- The person participating in equine therapy will work with their mental health counselor to set goals for the session; every session will likely look different.
The Goals of PRP
- The person participating in equine therapy will engage with the horse in a meaningful way, whether feeding, grooming, or simply looking at the horse.
- Horses are non-judgmental creatures: they are adept at mirroring the body language and behaviors of humans. This is a unique type of interaction that helps participants understand their own actions and needs; equine therapy often leads to discussion and processing of feelings. Equine therapy also helps to foster emotional growth.
- Equine therapy has been found to be helpful for individuals with:
- Bipolar disorders
- Mood disorders
- Substance use disorder and other addiction issues
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Trauma-related disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Other mental health conditions