Equine Assisted Psychotherapy & Learning
EAP/EAL uses horses experientially for emotional growth and life-skills learning in humans, as well as for organizational team building and leadership development. It is a collaborative approach between a licensed mental health professional and an equine specialist working with clients and horses to address specific goals.
No prior experience with horses is necessary, as the focus of EAP/EAL is not riding or horsemanship and all of the activities are done on the ground. EAP/EAL is typically a short-term, brief approach and one session in the arena can be equivalent to about three sessions in an office setting.
Those who are familiar with horses recognize and understand the power they have to influence people in incredible ways. The benefits of work ethic, responsibility, assertiveness, communication, and healthy relationships have long been recognized, and horses naturally provide these benefits.
Horses are large in size, which creates a natural opportunity for some to overcome fear and develop confidence by accomplishing a task in spite of that fear. Horses are social animals with defined roles within their herds.
They have distinct personalities, attitudes, and moods. An approach that seems to work with one, does not necessarily work with another. At times, they may seem stubborn and defiant.