Animals can offer an extraordinary amount of emotional support. Beyond the pet-owner relationship that many of us have lovingly experienced, animals are sometimes used in therapeutic settings to help clients navigate challenging emotional experiences.
Equine-assisted psychotherapy incorporates horses into the therapeutic process. People engage in activities such as grooming, feeding, and leading a horse while being supervised by a mental health professional. Goals of this form of therapy including helping people develop skills such as emotional regulation, self-confidence, and responsibility. With mature horses weighing anywhere in the range of 900 to 2,000 pounds or more, it might feel a bit intimidating to have such a large, majestic creature participating in your therapy sessions. However, equine-assisted therapy is growing in popularity due to its experiential approach and some burgeoning evidence of its effectiveness.
A horse barn doesn’t seem like the typical location for intensive mental health work. Still, some people find that equine-assisted therapy is beneficial. Typically, equine-assisted therapy is a team effort where a mental health professional works with a horse specialist. Clients who participate in equine-assisted therapy are usually seeking help for emotional or behavioral problems.
Clients who enroll in Equine Therapy will meet with a Certified Equine Coach at the stables in Lake Forest for 60 minutes. The 60 minute session will include interaction with a horse at Serrano Creek Ranch Equestrian Center. In the week following your equine session you will have a 15 minute follow-up appointment with one of our providers to combine the power of equine therapy with traditional therapy.
In light of research and observational findings, experts suggest that Equine Therapy—a common form of animal-assisted therapy--may yield a variety of psychotherapeutic benefits in the following domains: