Equine-assisted programs incorporate horses into the recovery process to foster highly impactful emotional and relational growth for individuals, marriages, families and groups of all types. By design, equine-assisted programs necessitate collaboration between horse(s), EAP team members and the client(s). The EAP team consists of a licensed mental health therapist and a horse professional assessing the complex (and often intense) interactional experiences and patterns that occur between horse and client.
All sessions have specific treatment objectives. It is important to note that equine-assisted programs are experiential in nature. In relation to predator-prey dynamics within the earth’s biological order, horses are “herd” animals. As a consequence, they are highly sensitive, attuned and responsive to emotional dynamics and behaviors taking place either within or between individuals. Correspondingly, treatment objectives may occasionally be “modified” as the horse-client interface re-creates the objective. From the perspective of individual and relational growth, the “processing” of feelings, behaviors and relational patterns associated with equine activities fosters tremendous therapeutic gains.
InterAct’s equine programs do not focus on riding or horsemanship instruction. All interactions with the horse occur on the ground and are therefore appropriate and relatively safe for those who have no knowledge of horses. In comparison to a ropes course where interactions involve stable, inanimate objects, equine assisted programs are highly dynamic, variable and refreshingly unpredictable.
Activities always incorporate the acquisition of skills (e.g. anxiety/anger/conflict management, impulse control, communication) and foster creative thinking, teamwork, problem solving, leadership, initiative/risk taking behaviors, confidence, self-image/attitude re-construction, and attunement to non-verbal cues in relationships.
Our equine-assisted programs serve as powerful, impactful and effective agents of change for our clients – whether individuals (youth, teens, adults), marriages, families and groups (e.g. professional, sports teams). When desired by the client, InterAct’s staff incorporates equine-assisted activities into all forms of treatment for clients struggling with: eating disorders; substance abuse; sex addiction; defiant, disruptive or non-communicative behavioral issues; chronic depression and anxiety; ADHD, relationship/marital difficulties; trauma-related issues (e.g. PTSD); and personality disorders.