Animals and humans have a certain bond. If you’ve ever owned a pet–dog or cat–you probably know what I’m referring to. It’s the type of bond that offers an unconditional and unquestioning love that holds a level of simplicity humans aren’t capable of offering each other. This bond is what makes therapy with horses (equine therapy) so effective.
Numerous studies have exemplified the power of conducting therapy with horses. One reported decreases in psychological distress and increases in psychological well being. This effect didn’t just last a small amount of time after treatment, either–the improvements were still stable after 6 months.
When used with other therapies, the positive effects are stronger
When combined with other therapies, it seems that the power of therapy with horses is amplified. Traditional therapy has it’s limitations, as does equine therapy; however, when used together, the therapies fill each other’s gaps and strengthen the therapeutic experience.
Some research has confirmed that when traditional therapy was used alongside equine therapy, the results were that individuals had the ability to self-reflect much more than those who just participated in traditional therapy.
The transformative power of therapy with horses
Therapy with horses has been found to help individuals struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, substance abuse, and much, much more. Some of the areas in which equine therapy can help include:
- Relationships. Many troubled teens struggle to develop healthy, strong relationships with friends and family members. Therapy with horses allows teens to develop a healthy relationship with a living thing, giving them the chance to take the first step towards understanding how to nurture and maintain relationships.
- Stress and Anixety Relief. This isn’t just in therapy with horses, but also in therapy with other animals as well. Animals have a way of calming us down and smoothly our nerves over. Equine therapy has also been shown to actually relieve physical ailments associated with mood or anxiety disorders, such as headaches, dizziness, or nausea.
- Self-Reflection. One of the things that troubled teens struggle most with is self-reflection. This ability is needed in order to move through life in a satisfying and successful way. By working with horses, teens see the direct effects of their actions which gives them the opportunity to understand natural consequences.
Therapy with horses obviously has a massive amount of potential in helping struggling adolescents get back on their feet. If you believe your daughter is having issues with a mental illness or something else, it’s critical to reach out to a professional.
Solstice East is here for your family
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. We understand the specific needs of troubled girls, which is why our program is centered solely on them. Our girls often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.
We strive to help students develop healthy habits and lead themselves back onto a path of success and happiness through meaningful therapy and a nurturing environment.
For more information about how we use therapy with horses at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.