EQUINE ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY
I am fully trained and certified in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP). This means using horses to explore oneself and his or her past in experiential ways. Horses are extremely powerful, yet sensitive animals, and are effective mirrors of human emotions. This power allows human beings to work on things like assertiveness, control, self-esteem, and trust. Horses' sensitive nature and ability to model emotions teaches emotion regulation, communication, teamwork, and emotional and physical safety.
In traditional EAP, all the work is conducted with the client on the ground, with no riding of the horse. Clients might experience things such as introducing themselves to the horses, seeing if they might identify with one or more horses and why, grooming the horses, leading the horses around to work on leadership and trust, storytelling using horses as characters, and other activities in trying to get the horses to move in various ways. These are only few examples of how Equine Assisted Psychotherapy might use horses as mediums through which to accomplish one's therapeutic goals.
Essential Strides Program
While I can offer traditional EAP, I have also partnered with Equine Life Solutions (ELS) at Holly Farm in Bothell, WA to create a unique program, titled the Essential Strides Program. In this program clients receive a 45-minute traditional riding lesson, followed by a 45-minute therapy session. The riding lesson is provided by one of the excellent riding instructors at ELS, while the therapy session is provided by myself. The theory behind this structure is that in traditional EAP, there is ample experience, with little opportunity for processing that experience. The structure in the Essential Strides Program allows clients the opportunity to learn horsemanship developing into leadership skills, through an understanding of horse behavior and immediate processing how their experience in the riding lesson might generalize to the rest of their lives. The breakdown of the cost for this program can be found on my rates page
EAP can be effective for all kinds of struggles from adjustment difficulties, family difficulties, and emotion regulation difficulties, all the way to clinically diagnosed depression, trauma and anxiety, and eating disorders. For those interested in EAP, I offer an initial consultation and barn tour. This service is offered in conjunction with Equine Life Solutions (ELS) at Holly Farm in Bothell, WA.