The Power of Equine Therapy

equine therapy At New Directions for Women there are a number of experiential therapies that our patients participate in as treatment for drug addiction. One experiential therapy that has proven to be very successful is equine therapy. Dating back to Greek literature, equine therapy was documented by Orbasis of Lydia in 600 B.C. In his documentation, he marveled at the therapeutic value of riding a horse. This type of therapy consists of many challenges. During therapy, patients are asked to groom and lead their horse though obstacles. The idea behind this type of cognitive therapy is that working with the horses can bring out different kinds of emotions. This is part of the therapy process. Equine therapy can either elicit emotions of happiness or fear. When this happens, it is here that these emotions are discussed with a fully certified addiction counselor. The emotions that are brought out through equine therapy are what help the patients at New Directions for Women connect with their feelings.

Equine therapy has helped patients suffering from not only the disease of addiction but it is also used to treat those suffering from anxiety, autism, depression, and attention deficit disorder. The connection that patients feel with these beautiful animals can help to build their self confidence, open the lines for positive communication, and allow them to establish trust in their relationships.

One example of an equine therapy activity is one that we recently completed with our patients. In this group activity, patients were asked to attempt to coerce the horse from leaving a large circle without letting the horse touch the women. By completing this activity, the women learned the importance of communication. This line of communication allows them to understand the types of patience they have and their abilities to follow instruction.

Equine therapy is not always conducted in a group setting. There can also be individual equine therapy sessions, as well. At an individual equine therapy session, the patient will be allowed to interact with the horse at her own pace. This is especially beneficial for a woman struggling with relationships, or for someone who has issues with trust. In this individual session, a patient will help groom, feed, or walk with her horse. This type of session allows a patient to establish a bond with the horse without any fear of judgment.

Utilizing equine therapy at New Directions for Women has proven to be beneficial for women of all ages and backgrounds. It is a positive environment where our women are given the chance to learn and grow in their recovery. At New Directions for Women we provide services like equine therapy to meet the needs of women, women with children, and pregnant women who are embarking on their journey towards lifelong recovery.

If you or someone you know is struggling with the disease of addiction please give us a call. We have over 37 years of experience in successfully treating women and their families. Our caring admissions counselors are available 24/7 to take your call and answer any questions you may have on getting help. Reach us by phone at 800-93-WOMEN. We can help. Stay in the loop with New Directions for Women by connecting with us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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