Equine Therapy Helps Teen Boys
Equine therapy aims to help the boy develop needed skills and attributes, such as accountability, responsibility, self-confidence, problem-solving skills, and self-control.
Equine therapy is one component of a comprehensive treatment plan that complements conventional approaches appropriate for the specific situation. Equine therapy sessions are led by a certified Equine-Assisted therapist who has received specialized training in equine therapy and traditional training in the mental health field.
The interaction between the horse and the client often unlocks blocked emotions, allowing them to be processed and healed. Equine therapy also provides an innovative milieu in which the therapist and the patient can identify and address various emotional and behavioral challenges. Both during the activity and after the patient has finished working with the horse, the equine therapist can observe and interact with the client to identify behavior patterns and process thoughts and emotions.
What Conditions are Treated with Equine Therapy?
Research shows that Equine-Assisted Activities are an appropriate therapeutic approach for teens. Some conditions or disorders that respond well to EAP or related equine-assisted therapies include:
- Substance Abuse
- Eating Disorders
- Behavior Disorders
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Learning Challenges
- Learning differences
What are the Benefits of Equine Therapy?
Studies have indicated that equine therapy has been successful in helping clients show marked improvements in the following areas:
- Emotional awareness
- Stress tolerance
- Impulse control
- Problem-solving skills
- Social responsibility
- Interpersonal relationships
Many of the benefits of equine therapy are likely due to the nature of the animals with which the patient and equine therapist are interacting. Horses are typically non-judgmental, have no preconceived expectations or motives, and are highly effective at mirroring the attitudes and behaviors of the humans with whom they work.
While working with horses under the guidance and supervision of an equine therapist, equine therapy patients have a unique and effective opportunity to note their tendency to engage in self-defeating and otherwise negative thoughts and actions. These realizations provide excellent bases for discussion and processing during and after the equine therapy experience.