There are many forms of treatment available to a person who is having trouble connecting during their recovery process. One of the ways to deal with this is through Equine Therapy in drug rehab. This therapy allows a person suffering from drug addiction to use horses as a part of their therapy and healing process. Horses help the individual learn responsibility, trust, and how to connect with creatures. Facilitating this connection allows the individual to grow into a rejuvenated person.
Animal assisted therapy has been recognized and used since 400 BC. Historically, individuals would ride horses as a form of therapy. Since the mid 1900’s, Equine Therapy has been very helpful for healing the sick. At New Directions for Women, our patients do not ride the horses. For us, Equine Therapy is more about building relationship. One exercise includes trying to get the horse, standing within a large circle, to come outside of a circle without touching them. This process reveals lessons about communication methods, patience, and the habits a person uses to get someone (in this case the horse) to follow instructions.
Equine Therapy is not used, alone, however. Equine Therapy is just one of the types of experiential therapies we offer. Therapy is provided to the patient, both on a group and individual basis. Each type of therapy has its benefits to the person. Our therapies and groups are used to provide education and tools to break free from addiction.
How does Equine Therapy Work?
Treatment centers that offer Equine Therapy provide time with horses as a therapeutic activity for those residing in the facility. At New Directions for Women, patients are transported to a local Equine center. Women are provided the opportunity to interact with, groom, feed, and simply walk the horses on a regular basis. These occasions help our women to form a bond with the horse. Time spent during Equine Therapy helps our women to connect without fear of judgment. They can talk freely without being interrupted. Equine Therapy provides a safe space for expression. She can learn how her behavior has affected others as well as discover herself through these instances.
Trained counselors are also a part of Equine Therapy. These counselors talk to our patients about their experiences during Equine Therapy. They build metaphors for the patient to understand. This is a vital component of healing and rebuilding a life free of drugs.
Equine Therapy has Benefits
As you can see, Equine Therapy is very rewarding. Addiction is a disease of isolation. Equine Therapy teaches individuals about confidence, self-image, trust, reducing isolation, social skills, and even boundaries. It teaches the individual who has felt alone, how to connect again. The chance to learn and grow in a positive environment with beautiful horses is extremely therapeutic for our patients, many of whom have histories of trauma. Furthermore, Equine Therapy helps in the process of achieving full and sustained recovery. New Directions for Women gladly offers Equine Therapy along with several other therapeutic services. Addiction must be taken seriously. With our highly trained and multidisciplinary treatment team, leveraging over 30 years in service to women of all ages, we know what it takes and we are capable of transforming lives.
If you know of a woman, woman with children, or pregnant woman, of any age, that suffers from addiction please contact our loving Admissions Counselors at 800-93-WOMEN or find us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. We can help.