Discovery in Recovery
Date & Time
“Discovery in Recovery”
How Being with Horses Can Help Us Achieve Better Outcomes
In the world of Recovery, it is recognized that several aspects of addiction treatment are variable, each treatment’s focus is the same: helping the patient rehabilitate from the addiction so that he can lead a productive and drug-free life, with positive outcomes.
What is Equine Therapy & Assisted Learning?
One recent form of therapy that helps people reach these goals is called equine therapy, sometimes called equine-assisted psychotherapy, and equine-assisted learning. Equine Assisted Learning is offered in order to work through some of the psychological and emotional issues that he might not otherwise be able to address in traditional therapy.
In equine-assisted learning, the person regularly interacts with horses over a period of time. It is non-mounted, meaning no riding or experience with horses is needed. Horses appreciate and partner with us “as we are”. Horses don’t judge, nor do they lie; being herd animals they interact all during their days with congruence, honesty and deliberation, making them ideal Partners and Teachers.
Some Benefits of Equine Therapy
A study done in 2008, which looked at the effects of a 12-week program of Animal-Assisted Therapy on people receiving treatment for various issues such as anxiety, schizophrenia, affective disorders, and personality disorders, found that people who engage in equine therapy reported higher levels of self-esteem and coping ability.
Activities with horses, can significantly improve a person’s self-esteem and ability to deal with difficult situations. Since substance addiction is classified as a mental health disorder, and since many people who struggle with addictions may also suffer from another mental issue, studies show that Equine-Assisted Therapy can be useful to people undergoing addiction treatment.
HORSES are able to detect when a person feels scared, angry, happy, sad, or nervous. Equine Assisted Learning can be useful to people going through addiction treatment because it offers them the following:
- Immediate feedback: Because horses can sense a person’s feelings and respond accordingly, they can serve as a mirror that the person can use to see and understand feelings they may not be aware of.
- Opportunities for learning: The person can use his interactions with the horses to evaluate and modify the ways he interacts with people. The therapist can also use the horses as a way to open conversation about the person’s addiction and any other psychological or social issues.
- Opportunities for trust-building: A person who feels uncomfortable talking in a traditional therapy setting, or who hasn’t developed a trusting relationship with his therapist might find equine therapy to be a safe environment where he can open up and develop trust, both between himself and the horses and between himself and his therapist.
- Healthy relationships: Horses offer the person a non-judging relationship, which can help a person struggling with the negative relationship consequences from his addiction to rebuild his confidence without fear of criticism.
Equine therapy is a great option for people looking for therapies to complement their addiction treatment. Alone is fine, too! Along with traditional addiction treatment and therapy, equine therapy can give a person the confidence and skills they need to live a fulfilling life free from addiction.
JoAnne Ernsberger is an experienced and certified EAL practitioner and Corporate trainer. She is a member of E3A (Equine Assisted Experiential Learning) and EAGALA, which is the global standard for Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Human Development. JoAnne is Founder and Director of Equissential Growth Strategies and The Backyard Barn Foundation, a 501 c 3. She has a sincere interest in empowering people to embrace their gifts and to achieve goals. This is done with a combination of conventional methods, as well as Equine Assisted Experiential Learning. With God’s help and direction, her knowledge of business, relationships, and horses has helped many to grow, become empowered and attain lasting change.
Request for More Info, to Register, or Schedule a Visit!
JoAnne Ernsberger – 302. 528. 6206