What is Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy?

lady feeding horse

These days, there are all sorts of treatments available for people recovering from addiction. Medications, group therapy, and outpatient drug rehab are all commonly used, but there are also other forms of drug addiction treatment that can make recovery feel a lot less clinical. Enter: equine-assisted therapy (EAT). Here’s what you need to know about this form of therapy and how it may be a key component on your road to recovery.

Types of Equine Therapy

As the name would imply, this form of therapy involves horses, but what do horses have to do with addiction recovery? While the two may seem to have no correlation at all, the facts behind this therapy may surprise you!

There are various types of equine therapy, including:

  • Equine-assisted therapy (EAT)
  • Equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP)
  • Equine-assisted learning (EAL)
  • Equine-facilitated learning (EFL)
  • Equine-facilitated psychotherapy (EFP)

All forms of equine therapy are very therapeutic. A relaxed mind is at ease and is better equipped to focus on recovery. Research has shown that equine therapy is very beneficial in treating self-worth issues, emotional trauma, anxiety, depression, and abuse. By using therapy horses, patients are able to improve their physical, emotional, and occupational well-being.

Horses Act as Mirrors

Drug addiction has a way of making us lose sight of our true selves. Addiction masks our true feelings and encourages us to look at life through a totally different view. Horses have an instinctual fear of danger. These animals can naturally detect pulse, respiration, and heart rate of living creatures, including that of humans. This means that horses can accurately interpret our feelings, even when we’re unaware of them.

Horses react to our true selves and are able to provide non-judgmental and immediate feedback. This helps with addressing emotional roadblocks.

Equine therapy is great for helping patients to face their fears, which, in turn, improves self-esteem and self-confidence. As patients are able to boost their confidence, self-love, and self-image, it’s much easier to see the value you bring to yourself and those around you. Having a solid sense of self is the first step in addiction treatment.

woman standing next to brown horse

Holistic Treatment to Get You onto the Road to Recovery

At Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers, we believe in treating more than the addiction. Instead, we provide holistic therapies that improve your overall health and well-being. With a holistic approach, we’re better able to help patients by treating the entire self versus just focusing on the addiction.

With the help of a substance abuse counselor, you can map out a treatment plan that will ensure your success in sobriety and recovery. At Retreat Premier Addiction Treatment Centers, we offer a variety of treatments for drug addiction, including art therapy, yoga, gardening, and, of course, equine therapy.

Are you ready to get back to living your best life? If so, call us today at (717) 859-8000 to discuss admission.