There are many ways to heal. And there are many tools to facilitate that healing, especially the kind of transformation that addiction recovery requires. One powerful way to transform yourself is to spend time with horses. In fact, there are many counselors and therapists who use horses as a means of therapy.
Using Equine Therapy in Addiction Recovery
Equine Therapy is a medical field that is recognized in most major countries. It is a form of therapy that uses horses as well as an equine environment to promote physical, emotional, occupational, and psychological well being in patients.
Equine therapy is often used in the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Dementia, and Depression. It can also be used to treat traumatic brain injuries, behavioral issues, and addiction.
If you already have a love of horses, then it might be just the right tool for healing. You can bring that passion into your recovery. You can use the horses as an example of power, strength, resilience, and trust – traits that you might need to grow yourself in recovery.
Equine therapy is a form of mental health treatment that involves more than just having patients ride a horse. It could include touching a horse, placing a halter on a horse, or leading a horse to a designated area.
The presence of the horse and the interaction with the patient can have a significant impact on healing and treatment. This kind of therapy can build self-confidence, communication skills, trust, impulse control, boundary setting, and adopting new perspectives on life.
Some forms of equine therapy include:
This form of therapy includes developing a connection between the horse and the patient through practices such as grooming, riding, and spending time together. The connection that a patient has with a horse can improve mental, emotional, and spiritual difficulties. It can facilitate the healing of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and major life challenges, such as loss of a loved one.
Therapeutic Horseback Riding
This is similar to the therapy described above; however, the focus here is on building the patient’s ability to listen to directions, solve problems, and communicate with others. This form of therapy is often done in group settings with children, which can also improve social skills. Trained and licensed therapists facilitate these treatment groups.
This form of therapy focuses on the patient’s ride on a horse where the patient feels the horse’s strength and movement, which is intended to facilitate a deeper connection between the patient and the animal. Hippo is a Greek word meaning horse.
Horses can be powerful teachers. They are incredibly loving, intuitive, and gentle. At the same time, they can be emotive, expressive, and accepting. Because of the opportunity to grow when working with horses, many addiction treatment centers are including equine therapy in their programs.
They have trained facilitators who are experienced in both working with horses as well as working with someone therapeutically so that healing can take place.
If you’re interested in experiencing equine therapy in your recovery from addiction, look for an equine therapist in your neighborhood. Or for more information, contact a residential treatment center that uses horses as part of their therapeutic program.
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