Equine Assisted Therapy
When people first hear about equine assisted psychotherapy, they usually ask 3 questions:
1. What is it?
2. How is it different from office-based therapy?
3. How do I know if it is right for me?
What is it? Equine assisted psychotherapy is mental health therapy for people, done at an equine facility with horses. Just like other types of therapy, it is directed by therapeutic goals, is confidential, and is facilitated by a mental health professional. There is no riding, everyone’s feet are on the ground. The client is physically interacting with the horses, sharing their space, and navigating toward goals together. Each session is uniquely designed around specific treatment goals for each client, we are not teaching horsemanship, and there is no horse experience necessary.
How is it different from office-based therapy? Equine assisted psychotherapy is different from office-based therapy in that it is experiential, a client is engaging their bodies and all their senses while addressing the concern that brought them to therapy. It also requires less talking; often there is a check in at the beginning and a debrief toward the end with the experience with the horse requiring less discussion. Lastly at our facility, it is different from office-based counseling because it is facilitated by two people, a mental health professional and an equine professional. While both facilitators are trained and experienced with mental health and with horses each specializes as a way to provide a more safe and therapeutic experience.
How do I know if it is right for me? If any of these are true for you, equine assisted psychotherapy may be a good option for your mental health care journey:
- Office based counseling has not been as helpful as you’d hoped
- It’s hard for you to focus in an office setting
- You learn better through experience
- Putting your thoughts or experiences into words is challenging for you
Our Authentic Connections Counseling therapist, Veronica Conley offers equine assisted therapy at a facility north of Colorado Springs. https://horsepartners.org/our-team/
Please contact Veronica directly for more information and setting up an equine assisted therapy session.