Many people wonder why we incorporate horses into the thereputic process to help humans heal from a variety of psychological issues and how/why are they effective? Medicine Horse Therapist Alison McCabe helps answer these questions in the pasture with her assistants Nitro, Prince and Rowan from our therapy herd.
Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) is a type of therapy in which horses play an active role in the therapeutic process. Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) aids participants in self-discovery and the development of life-and-social skills through interactions with horses. Both modalities rely on the horse’s unique abilities to interact with humans on a level unavailable in most other therapeutic or learning environments.
Horses are intuitive, honest and responsive. As herd animals, they are highly social and empathic, relying on their relationships with one another for comfort, safety and survival. As prey animals, they are extremely sensitive to their physical and energetic environment. Each horse has an individual personality, strengths and challenges, opinions and preferences. As a result, horses have much to teach us about ourselves:
Emotional resilience and agility
Relationships with self and others within a family or other group system
Social intelligence and leadership
Working with horses in a safe, non-judgmental setting allows for healing, learning and positive change. Often, progress can happen more quickly and impactfully than in other contexts.
Partnering with horses as co-facilitators allows Medicine Horse to offer incredible programs serving the needs of our community in the areas of mental health, personal well-being and education.