Addiction facilities offer many different programs. Some of them are quite unique, and they provide a different aspect to treatment for the addict. One such program that has received positive results is equine therapy.
Equine therapy is a treatment program where the addict interacts with horses. In some programs, the patient is responsible for the feeding and grooming of the horse. In others, they may simply spend time with the animal or even ride.
The therapist may monitor the interactions with the horse to learn more about the patient from the experience. They may use the visits to open up communication about certain topics. In most of these programs, the patient isn’t required to have experience working with horses. They may simply have a love for animals or even just need to try something new.
The Benefits of Equine Therapy
A therapist may prescribe equine therapy if they feel the patient isn’t making progress. Sometimes the person may hit a roadblock in dealing with their emotions or other issues involved with addiction.
A horse is a pack animal and responds to the other members of his pack. When a horse is around humans, they become the pack. In equine therapy, the horse will respond to how the patient is feeling, which then may become part of the counseling session as the therapist and patient explore the reasons behind the emotions. It’s a time when the therapist can help the person become aware of emotions they didn’t realize existed.
The patient may be responsible for daily care of the horse. For an addict who hasn’t held a job or cared for their family during their drug use, this can be a big step forward for them. It helps them learn how to be leaders, be accountable and be caring for another living being. They may develop a friendship with the animal, which is often easier than building a relationship with people.
If equine therapy sounds like a treatment program you would be interested in for yourself or a loved one, look for addiction centers that offer this type of therapy.