Equine therapy, also known as equestrian therapy or horse therapy, is a type of experiential treatment for substance addiction and mental problems that involves the interaction between patients and horses. This interaction often involves activities, such as grooming and feeding a horse, and is done under the supervision of a mental health expert supported by a horse professional.
Equine therapy aims at helping individuals develop a number of skills such as accountability, responsibility, problem-solving skills and self-control. It allows one to find an optimum solution for a range of emotional and behavioral challenges. Some of the common conditions treated using this therapy include autism, social disorders and addictions. Apart from these, there are a number of other ways in which this therapy benefits an individual. Some of them are:
- Learn to identify and cope with feelings: This therapy is an excellent way to help an individual touch base with his/her feelings and emotions. Since horses are non-judgmental by nature, they can mirror the behavior of a person efficaciously. This not only helps in promoting self-awareness but also in developing a more realistic attitude toward oneself.
- Develop communication skills: Long-term drug abuse can severely dent one’s mind and affect his/ her cognition. By working with horses, a person understands they consciously and subconsciously interact with others. Since horses are excellent at communicating, understanding the ways in which they interact with others can help one understand various ways to function in everyday life.
- Set healthy boundaries: Working with horses can help an individual realize the importance of setting healthy boundaries. When a person undergoing equine therapy tries to dominate the horse or exercise control, it makes it clear and apparent that this approach won’t work. Moreover, being detached from the horse will also not pay dividends as that would only discourage the horse from following any of your instructions. The idea is to maintain a healthy balance between maintaining control and giving the horse its space. The same is applicable in the case of us humans also.
- Defeat fears: During equine therapy, individuals are taught to fight against their fears and overcome them. They are made to face their fears in a safe environment, which, in turn, helps them get comfortable with the horse quickly. This experience often goes a long way in boosting one’s confidence and enabling him/ her effectively deal with fears in day-to-day life.
- Suppress feeling of loneliness: An individual addicted to any form of drugs usually goes through patches of loneliness or prefers to stay in solitude. Equine therapy helps a person fight against this feeling by offering him/her the companionship of the horse. Therapists also believe that having the company of an animal helps in instilling positivity and happiness in life.
Recovery is possible
Equine therapy benefits an individual in ways more than one. Therefore, it is always a good idea to opt for this therapy and attain recovery in a non-traditional fashion. Spreading awareness about the ill effects of substance abuse is important in order to get the nation rid of opioid epidemic.
If you or someone you know is battling alcohol addiction seek professional help from any of our state-of-the-art alcohol addiction treatment centers. You can call at our 24/7 alcohol addiction helpline number 866-281-3014 or chat online with our experts to connect with one of these centers that offer comprehensive treatment for alcohol addiction.