What is Equine Assisted Psychotherapy?
Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is a model of development that incorporates horses in mental health treatment. There are lots of ways that people use horses in therapy, but we use the EAGALA Model.
The EAGALA Model is a team approach that includes a licensed, credentialed Mental Health Professional, a qualified Equine Specialist, and one or more horses working together with the client.
All of the work is done on the ground with the horses front and center, deliberately untethered and never ridden, and allowed to interact with the client as they wish. This creates the space for the client, with the support of the professional facilitators, to reflect, project, and make deep connections.
Find out more about EAGALA here.
Why the EAGALA model?
The Eagala Model is so effective because it embraces the science of how humans learn best. The model prescribes a hands-on approach where clients are given the space to project and analyze their situations, make connections, and find their own solutions. Since the solutions are personally experienced in conjunction with intellectual understanding, they tend to be deeper, more profound, and longer lasting.
~Intelligent Prey Animals
To evade predators, horses have evolved to be extremely sensitive to their environment. They know how to read social cues and body language better than we do! They instinctively analyze and react to our body language and other nonverbal cues providing us with valuable feedback and insights for other areas of our lives.
~Large and Powerful
It's hard to ignore a horse's size and presence. Approaching horses helps us reflect on how we approach our relationships, and how we can face overwhelming things in our lives.
Horses are social animals with defined roles within a herd. They have distinct personalities, attitudes, and moods. They can be stubborn or they can be playful. In other words, horses are a lot like us.
Do the clients ever ride horses?
No! There is no riding involved.
What should I wear or bring?
You will be in a pasture with free moving animals. Close-toed shoes like boots or sneakers are recommended. Dress according to the season and weather forecast. Bringing a water bottle is also recommended.
How old do I need to be?
We meet with clients between the ages of 18-150.