When you need help for addiction and co-occurring conditions, that help includes a mix of addiction therapy services. One of the most valued types of therapy is an equine therapy program. This program uses horses to help you work past hurdles in your life, interact better with others, build self-confidence, and heal from past trauma.
About an Equine Therapy Program
An equine therapy program, also called horse therapy, involves working with horses. In this therapy you groom, feed, halter, lead, and spend time with the animals. At the same time, a licensed therapist and horse professional guide the process. The therapist watches your activity and helps you identify your behavior patterns, thoughts, and emotions arising during the activities.
Equine therapy helps you build skills you need in daily life, such as self-esteem, responsibility, self-control, and problem-solving. It works well in treatment programs for people with a range of conditions, including:
- Substance use disorder
- Behavioral disorders
- Mood and anxiety disorders
- ADHD and ADD
- Eating disorders
- Learning difficulties, autism, and Asperger’s
- Trauma, grief, and PTSD
Benefits of an Equine Therapy Program
According to recent studies of horse therapy, people taking part in the activities gain clear benefits. These benefits include assertiveness, stress tolerance, empathy, emotional awareness, impulse control, problem-solving, and flexibility. People taking part also build independence, self-regard, and social skills.
The animals themselves provide many of the benefits of your equine therapy. Horses do not judge humans, carry no motives, and mirror our behaviors and attitudes. In these ways, horses simply reflect your truths, those of your attitude, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. Through horse therapy, you learn how you tend to defeat yourself through negative thoughts and behaviors.
You use what you learn in equine therapy to improve yourself through other therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and other experiential therapy programs.
Participating in Your Equine Therapy Program
Many people go into equine therapy for the first time with some fear. But what you quickly learn is that the horse’s intelligence and calm nature match well with our needs as humans. In some sessions, you do not even touch the horse to gain benefit. In others, you lead, halter, or groom the horse. After these activities, you talk about your thoughts, ideas, and methods of achieving your goals.
In talking about your equine therapy sessions, you improve your communication and language skills. You focus on listening, following directions and asking questions. You also focus on communicating with the animal through both spoken and unspoken language.
Equine therapy works well with other methods, like mindfulness, that help you to stay present in the moment and stop thinking too much about the past or future. If you feel anxious, you see the horse feels the same way in feeding off of your energy. You learn to focus more on changing negative thoughts to positive ones, practicing this when you work to soothe the animal during your activity.
Equine therapy works well as a type of group therapy. The group works together to achieve a common goal. Or, individuals focus on their own goals with the horse.
Equine Therapy in Pacific Grove, California
Equine therapy at Beacon House in Pacific Grove, California adds depth to your therapy program for addiction treatment. At Beacon House, you gain a range of therapies designed to work well together for your unique needs. These therapies, programs, and services include:
- Residential, PHP and IOP programs
- Mindfulness-based surfing, equine and nature therapies
- CBT, DBT, MAT and trauma therapy
- Dual diagnosis treatment
To learn more about equine therapy program benefits in addiction therapy services, call Beacon House now. You can reach us at 831.372.4366. Through a mix of quality addiction recovery services, you can build a better life in sobriety.