Equine therapy has become a highly successful treatment modality for many disabilities and illnesses but has become extremely useful in treating clients with substance abuse issues.
The sessions are supervised by an Equine Therapist and usually a horse professional. Patients are tasked with grooming, feeding, haltering, and leading the horses.
Through these tasks, clients learn a number of things about themselves and how they may impact relationships. They can experience how their actions directly affect the energy of others and find harmony with the horses that allows them to take responsibility for themselves and their horse.
Equine Therapy also teaches clients important skills like assertiveness, emotional awareness, empathy, flexibility, tolerance, coping with stress, impulse control, self-actualization, independence, and social responsibility.
While this may seem an unconventional form of treatment, equine therapy provides an unusual opportunity for the therapist and client to explore relationships in a unique and non-toxic manner. Because the horses are non-judgmental, have no expectations or motives, and meet each individual precisely where they are and for who they are, they mirror the attitudes and behaviors of the humans.
This can lead clients to recognize their own self-doubt or tendency to engage in self-defeating thoughts and actions. These realizations then become the basis for further discussion and examination.
Equine therapy also provides a platform through which the therapist and patient can explore and address emotional and behavioral challenges.