Equine Assisted Therapy/Learning
Equine Assisted Therapy/Learning.
I wonder if anyone reading this has any idea what it might be?
Alternative help for stress/anxiety, PTSD or just goal setting. Trust me, it is worth reading on.
Sometimes it is called Equine Facilitated Therapy, Equine Assisted Therapy. Sometimes Equine Assisted Learning and even more terms for it.
I am a therapist and have been for over 20 years but I prefer the term “Equine Assisted Learning” as it really is a personal journey working with the horses to learn about ourselves.
It is an alternative to one-on-one therapy sitting in an office. For some people this is a much easier and gentler option.
Being outdoors in nature is very good for our physical and mental health, along with our general well-being. Many doctors are now advocating this as an aid for stress and anxiety.
Horses are prey animals so their senses are very finely tuned.
They seem to pick up on peoples’ feelings and intentions. They then appear to mirror those feelings. This, in turn gives us an opportunity to quietly self-reflect and gently explore those inner feelings. Of course, horses do not pass any judgement they simply live in the present moment and we could possibly benefit from this.
Horses have very clear boundaries and communication skills. As they have no verbal skills their communication is purely through body language and energy. We can learn much by observing the herd communication.
I was working in my office one day with a client who had severe PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). We decided at one point during the session to go outside and meet the horses. The rapid change in him was amazing . He became very quiet, his anxiety levels and energy dropped dramatically, his breathing became much slower and the horses appeared to breathe with him. He connected with a particular horse and decided he would like to brush him so I gave him a brush and stood aside. When he was leaving, we agreed it was best not to explore or discuss feelings so he went home and had the best nights sleep he had had in a while. That was years ago but if he feels his anxiety is raising, he comes back, not to see me but to see the horses.
I was quite blown away by the outcome for my client.
This prompted me to explore so I signed up for a training course in Equine Facilitated Therapy. I then followed this up by doing an advanced practical training.
At Horse Haven Uk www.horsehavenuk.com. Our herd of horses are all therapy horses and love working with people, they are all gentle, kind and patient but clear communicators. We now run an accredited certified training programme to enable people to qualify as Equine Facilitated Learning/Therapy Practitioners. We also run regular group workshops for people wishing to make positive changes in their life. Our workshops run monthly from end of February – end of October. We also offer family sessions and private group sessions. Private bespoke sessions can be tailored to suit on request.
The link below will take you to the page for our February workshop. Click to learn more.
If you would like to make a positive change get in touch to see how we might help you.