You may wonder “Why horses and what can I expect from a therapy session involving equines?”
Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) with Fresh Air Counseling is an experiential approach to therapy that includes horses,
your AAT-I therapist,and an equine specialist. Horses require minimal sensory stimuli to perceive, respond to, and learn from their environment, and naturally develop unique personalities based on their biological, physiological, and psychological traits. Like humans, they have likes, dislikes, and habits. Within the herd and as a prey animal, horses have strong social bonds based on cooperation and safety, must pay great attention to detail, and can communicate and respond to human emotions and behaviors through body language. Research suggests that the equine-human relationship parallels the therapist-client relationship as these relationships both involve trust, acceptance, and mutual respect.
EFP sessions occur as adjunct interventions within the evidence-based treatment plan developed in collaboration by the therapist and client. Interventions and activities use herd behavior to identify, explore, and process our human behaviors and experiences.
Some of the benefits that have been discovered through research on EFP with adults include:
- Enhanced self-esteem, self-confidence, self-efficacy and feelings of empowerment
- Decrease in fear and reduced anxiety, restored sense of safety
- Development of trust
- Improved emotional states
- Decrease in depression
- Improved sleep and quality of life
- Opportunity for acceptance and improved connections
- Bottom-up regulation
- Development of healthy boundaries and exploration of attachment style
To learn more about EFP and the ways you may benefit from therapy with equines, contact us today!