Equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP) is an experiential therapeutic modality utilizing the healing and transformative potential of horses to help clients reach their goals. Horses are physically, spiritually, and emotionally powerful animals that are gifted with a highly tuned “prey” drive creating a heightened sensitivity to their environment. They naturally “mirror” clients’ emotional and physical states, and provide immediate feedback through their own genuine responses. They provide an opportunity for clients to practice skills in the moment, and change ineffective behaviors — having a chance to correct or redefine an experience in a safe and therapeutic space.
Equine assisted psychotherapy is effective for children, adults, and families. This therapy is particularly useful for improving self-esteem, impulse control, processing trauma, and improving interpersonal difficulties as well as treating a host of other mental health issues. It is highly effective in people who tend to “intellectualize” problems or who for some reason (age, development, trauma) struggle to verbalize and communicate emotions. This therapy is often recommended when other therapies have not been effective, or in addition to more traditional talk therapy.
At Emily Nemeth Counseling, I use the EAGALA method of EAP, which requires both a mental health facilitator and a horse professional in the arena guiding the session. I work in a quiet and private environment with the horses, and each session is 50 minutes. Sessions do not involve horseback riding, but rather involve the use of activities while on the ground with the horses. If this sounds like something you or your family would benefit from, don’t hesitate to call and ask more questions. Please explore EAGALA and other excellent resources on the internet as well.