Horses are large and powerful, which creates a natural opportunity for some people to overcome fear and develop confidence. They are very much like humans in that they are social animals. They have defined roles within their herds and would rather be with their peers. Horses have distinct personalities, attitudes and moods. At times they can seem stubborn or defiant, at others they like to have fun.
The size and power of a horse can be naturally intimidating. Being able to overcome that and accomplish a task with a horse generates wonderful parallels when dealing with challenging situations in life.
Referre provides EAP with Nina Leijerstam through
Track Clinic close to Frome in Somerset. For more information please click here.
To speak to Lucy about arranging a taster session, or to discuss individual or group tailored packages please click here
Horse Assisted Therapy (Equine Assisted Psychotherapy-EAP)
"There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man"
Sir Winston Churchill
EAP involves using horses as a tool for emotional growth and learning. It is a collaborative effort between a qualified therapist and a horse focused professional. EAP can be intense and interventions are commonly brief. The focus is on a participant's experience. This means that they learn about themselves and others by taking part in activities with the horses then think through (or discuss) the thoughts, beliefs, behaviours and patterns that come up.
At the centre of EAP lies communication skills not horsemanship. There is no riding and no previous knowledge of horses is required. The focus of the work is using activities that involve the horses and require the participant(s) to apply their skills, such as assertiveness, creative thinking and problem-solving. Unconscious body language and behavioural patterns are uncovered through the interaction with the horse. Discussing and processing the experience of the participant(s), which has been observed by the professionals, will have an impact in various ways. Parallels can be drawn between what happens in the session and what occurs at home, in school or work, in relationships etc. This allows a new way of looking at difficulties and a chance to find solutions.
This way of working has been shown to have a great impact on individuals of all ages, families and groups. It addresses a variety of mental health issues (including ADHD, autism, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, the after effects of trauma) but is also beneficial where there are relationship problems and communication needs.
Our participants have also fed back that working with horses has given them a great boost of confidence and improved sense of general wellbeing.