Equine Therapy

What is the History of Equine Specialized Psychotherapy?

1. Introduced in Europe following 2 epidemics of poliomyelitis after World War II.
2. Horse therapies were documented and recognized physical and psychological benefits for hundreds of years.
3. It wasn’t until 1960’s that the medical profession recognized horses as a legitimate therapeutic tool.
4. Liz Hartel of Denmark won silver medal at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games despite having paralysis from Polio.
5. 1960’s First North American Riding centers (NARHA) began operatons.
6. 1970’s Cheff center opened and provided a catalyst for subsequent nation wide development of riding programs.
7. Past 5 years horse therapies research and document benefits to those with emotional, behavioral and social problems.
8. Research proves benefits of horse therapies for adults and children (NAHRA).
9. At present over 600 certified NAHRA centers exist.

What is Equine Specialized Psychotherapy?

Equine Specialized Psychotherapy are terms we use to describe our horse assisted approach to counseling. This “hands on” therapy allows a credentialed mental health professional to facilitate the therapeutic process with the help of a horse.

This “hands on” experiential approach to treatment allows one to receive both the benefits from the mental health professional and the proven therapeutic benefits associated in working with horses.

Benefits from this type of therapy include enhanced self-awareness and re-patterning of maladaptive behaviors, feelings and attitudes.

1. Equine Specialized Psychotherapy is a growing therapeutic method to help promote emotional growth and learning.
2. It is sometimes referred to as Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy or Equine Specialized Psychotherapy.
3. It is a collaborate effort between a therapist, client and horse (a horse professional may be used if the therapist does not have the experience with managing the horse).
4. It is a “hands on approach” and classified as experiential therapy.
5. It is well-documented and proven effective and is not experimental.
6. It is an alternative to “traditional talk” therapies.
7. It is based on the here and now.
8. It is effective with clients who are resistive to traditional therapies like some adolescents.