Experiential therapy is the use of experience to process thoughts, ideas, problems, and trauma. Equine therapy is a type of experiential therapy that uses horses to help people process their issues. Many people who check-in for addiction rehabilitation wonder, “What is equine therapy?” Therapy with horses at an addiction treatment center in NC can be a fun, effective, healthy way to process the issues that lead many people to addiction.
What Is Equine Therapy?
When most people think of equine therapy or animal-assisted therapy, they picture riding a horse through the wilderness. While horseback riding can be a wonderful part of equine therapy, there is much more to it than that. Equine therapy may involve taking care of the horse through grooming, brushing, and leading. Reciprocal love and affection from an animal can work wonders in healing from trauma. Many people find when they spend time with their assigned horse, they’re able to let go of the issues repeating in their minds. Connection with an animal has many benefits for both the animal and the person receiving therapy.
How Does Equine Therapy Work?
When you’re wondering, “what is equine therapy?” you may have hesitations about trying this kind of therapy if you’ve never worked with horses before. Luckily, no experience is necessary to benefit from equine therapy. Typically, people participating in equine therapy work with both an equestrian professional and a mental health professional. Equine therapists are people who embody both of the positions.
If you’re curious about answering the question, “what is equine therapy?” you may be wondering how trauma processing works with a horse. Your equine therapist or mental health professional will observe you while you work with your horse, taking note of behavioral patterns. You may also talk through trauma and other issues while you work with your horse. Petting or touching an animal while talking about difficult topics can release feel-good chemicals in the brain and slow your heart rate. This can make it easier for you to work through trauma with your therapist.
Along with processing trauma, taking care of an animal can also work wonders for the self-esteem of a person who is struggling with addiction. Many people struggling with addiction find they’re missing a sense of accomplishment in their lives, especially if their addiction has gone on for many years. The responsibility of caring for a horse can help people who deal with addiction recognize their unique worth.
After an equine therapy session, your mental health professional or equine therapist will debrief the session with you, talking about your thoughts and emotions during your therapy session. You may find it easier to talk through trauma after working with your horse.
Treatment At Red Oak Recovery®
At Red Oak Recovery®, many clients come to us, asking, “what is equine therapy?” We’re proud to offer many different types of therapy to our clients, including:
- Equine therapy
- Individual, group, and family therapy
- Wilderness therapy
- Nutritional therapy
- Trauma therapy
We know that our clients are unique individuals, and it’s important for us to devise a treatment plan that meets your unique needs. When you enroll in treatment at Red Oak Recovery®, we’ll talk with you to understand how we can create a treatment plan that’s perfect for you.
Ready to Change? Call Red Oak Recovery®
If you’re ready to loosen addiction’s grip on your life, we’re here to help. Call Red Oak Recovery® at 866.457.7590 to talk with one of our admissions counselors about the programs we offer. Asking for help can be hard, and the fact that you’re researching addiction therapy shows that you’re ready to make a change. Recovery is possible! All you need to do is pick up the phone.