Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is an experiential therapeutic approach that addresses treatment goals using collaborative efforts among a horse professional, licensed therapist, the horse, and the client. Each client-driven session includes hands-on activities with the horses, as well as processing feelings, behaviors, and patterns. In EAP sessions clients interact with the horses on the ground and use nonverbal communication, problem solving, and creative thinking to address a variety of mental health and developmental issues.
These activities provide a context for clients to learn about themselves and connect to their story in a way that often is not possible in a traditional office setting. The meanings that participants give to particular activities or interactions with the horses can yield insights into patterns of behavior and relationship to self and others.
Because horses are prey animals, they are extremely intuitive and sensitive to their environments and to what’s going on with the humans around them. During EAP sessions horses will provide honest and non-judgmental feedback regarding what is happening emotionally and/or behaviorally for participants. And horses do best when the humans with them are honest about what they’re experiencing in the moment. This can help participants to be present and connect more deeply with what’s happening for them.
The EAP process is solution-focused and is considered a short-term or “brief” approach designed to activate the client’s own healing resources. We offer EAP services to individuals, couples and groups.