Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)

Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) utilizes horses experientially in the therapy process as partners to the treatment team and as catalysts for change and emotional growth. Horses, as prey animals, have a highly attuned ability to sense and respond to emotion as a means for survival and thus they become mirrors for us in the therapy process as they reflect our inner most feelings, whether those feelings are recognized by us or not. This can be a powerful tool in getting to the root of emotional problems quickly. Additionally, EAP Sessions take place in an outdoor barn/arena setting and are experiential in nature, thus emphasis is placed on action and doing in the moment rather than talking as in traditional "talk therapies". The experiential element of EAP allows clients to find their own solutions to problems through experimentation thus also building on problem solving and communication skills. Research shows that learning occurs at highest retention through experiencing far over seeing, hearing/talking and reading.

 

 

 

With this hands-on, experiential approach to psychotherapy, you will learn more about yourself and others by participating in activities with horses. You'll have an opportunity to find deeper meaning and understanding of your own patterns, behaviors and themes by processing the outcome of the activity with the EAP professional team, consisting of a mental health professional and a horse professional. You will also be able to try out new behaviors and attitudes with immediate feedback from the horses' behavior.

 

 

**Following the EAGALA model of EAP, all activities with horses take place on the ground and there is no riding because mounted work is not necessary to experience growth, change and healing.

 

To learn more about EAP and the EAGALA model, click the "What is EAGALA?" and "Why Horses?" Pages of this website.

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