„The only way out is through“
Helen Keller, American writer
Equine assisted therapy offers an alternative to conventional counselling and psychotherapy, which can be experienced as too intense or threatening. Horses don’t criticise, they are non-judgemental, sensitive, and responsive to intent. They can detect emotions and usually provide immediate and honest feedback. Most importantly horses don’t lie because they don't separate how they feel from how they act.
Therapy offers a unique opportunity to explore behavioral issues in a non-confrontational way, encouraging the development of verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Opportunities for powerful metaphoric learning often arise and as self-awareness develops we ‘grow’ as individuals, finding it easier to change our perception of ‘self’ and of ‘others’.
Equine facilitated therapy is an experiential (hands-on) psychotherapeutic intervention involving horses as co-therapists. Therapy can be on an individual or group basis depending on the treatment needs. There is no riding involved and no prior horse-knowledge is required, this therapy is also suitable for those with a fear of horses. Equine assisted psychotherapy is considered to be an effective short-term therapeutic approach. Unlike with traditional forms of therapies this method does not require one year or even longer periods of attendance. Experiential therapy accelerates a healing process. The horses’ direct and non-judgmental feedback allows clients to identify unproductive patterns, connect with strengths, and create change in the moment. Usually clients attend weekly sessions that make up total of 6 to 12 visits.