At Monuments, we utilize equine-assisted therapy for many of our students. Once the students overcome any initial trepidation they have about these large animals, they become completely invested in these gentle giants. This gives our students a different focal point in their therapy, which can be key to successful recovery.
Now that we’re moving into fall here in Southern Utah, let’s spend this month’s two blogs getting into our equine-assisted therapy at Monuments.
What is equine-assisted therapy?
Equine-assisted therapy is a form of experiential therapy that includes horses and a specialist psychologist or counselor working together with our students to create positive changes in their behavior and outlook. Our therapists all have specific special training in equine-assisted therapy in conjunction with traditional training in mental health.
Equine-assisted therapy typically includes a number of beneficial equine activities such as observing, handling, grooming, groundwork, and structured challenging exercises focused on our students’ needs and goals. Because horses are such large animals, using them for therapy provides unique non-verbal opportunities for the students to enhance their self-awareness, to recognize maladaptive behaviors, to identify negative feelings, and to face up to their self-defeating lines of thinking.
What kinds of disorders respond well to equine-assisted therapy?
When tasked with caring for these horses, our students develop a bond that pays off in a wide range of therapeutic benefits.
A good deal of research has been conducted on the effectiveness of equine-assisted therapy. It has shown it to be effective for treating adolescents experiencing depression, anxiety, and/or trauma-related symptoms, as well as ADHD/dissociative disorders, and other mental health issues. This line of therapy has been shown to build confidence, self-esteem, assertiveness, emotional regulation, and resourcefulness in our students.
These are the psychological and behavioral issues we treat with equine therapy at Monuments:
• Substance abuse
• Attention deficit disorder
• Abuse issues
• Behavioral issues
• Relationship problems
• Communication difficulties
In this month’s second blog, we’ll delve into the benefits our students receive for their relationships with our equine friends.
Do you have a teenage boy who may be suffering from addiction or other psychological problems? Please call us at Monuments (800) 559-1980 and let’s talk about how we can help.