At TROT we provide an experiential counseling approach involving activities with horses known as Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy. By taking the therapeutic experience out of the traditional office environment the client’s attention is focused on interacting with one of nature’s most majestic creatures. Facilitated by a Licensed Mental Health Professional who is also a Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Equine-assisted therapy allows clients to gain insights into their behavior and motivations. This innovative form of therapy teaches people about themselves, allows recognition of dysfunctional patterns of behavior, and provides powerful tools for building self-awareness, self-esteem, appropriate boundaries as well as a sense of personal responsibility.
Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy is a powerful and effective therapeutic approach. It is especially useful for people who don’t respond to talk therapies. It has been clinically proven effective in addressing a variety of mental health and human development needs including behavioral issues, attention deficit disorder, PTSD, substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and relationship problems.
Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) Fee: $100 per session
Why Equine-Assisted Therapy Works
Horses are powerful, sensitive, and empathetic beings. They provide us the opportunity to be in the present moment and energetically connect with their true nature. They are prey animals, yet are willing to be with humans and form strong connections.
Horses are herd animals. They are like a family with their various personalities and needs. Humans become a part of the herd by being in the moment. That means building trust, communicating, and allowing the journey to unfold. They are skilled therapists and teachers because they are non-judgmental and communicate non-verbally. We can be ourselves without the perceived fear of rejection. The horse assists in making us aware of our emotional state as they respond in reaction to our behavior. Because horses offer instant and accurate feedback, they shed light on the client’s thoughts and feelings before both the client and therapist are conscious of them.
Just being around horses changes human brainwave patterns. We calm down and become more centered and focused.
- Aduddell, M.M. (2003). Effects of equine assisted psychotherapy on adolescent attitudes and behaviors. Unpublished manuscript. Colorado Christian University.
- Bray, B. (2002). Treating adolescents using equine assisted psychotherapy: Effects on self concept, anxiety, and depression. Unpublished Masters Thesis, Whitman College.
- Emory, D.K. (1992). Effects of therapeutic horsemanship on the self concept and behavior of asocial adolescents. Unpublished dissertation, University of Maine.
- Greenwald, A.J. (2001). The effect of a therapeutic horsemanship program on emotionally disturbed boys. Dissertation Abstracts International, 62.
- Hutchinson, J. (2009). Equine Assisted Psychotherapy: Horses are still helping us today. Unpublished manuscript. Pioneer Pacific College.