Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is a collaborative effort between a mental health professional and an equine professional working with clients and horses to address treatment goals. Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) works in a similar way, with a focus on personal, professional or organisational goals.
EAP and EAL:
- Is challenging and non threatening
- Rapidly breaks down unhelpful defences
- Provides immediate cause and effect situations
- Captivates and holds attention
- Promotes change from dysfunctional patterns to successful ones
We offer Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning to individuals, couples and groups who want to make significant and lasting changes in their lives. Sessions are facilitated by our team of EAGALA qualified equine and mental health professionals and our herd of horses.
We use the EAGALA model which is:
- A Team Approach – an equine professional, a mental health professional and horses work together with you in all sessions.
- Ground Focused – no riding is involved. You learn about yourself and others by participating in activities with the horses and then discussing or processing feelings, behaviours and patterns which have emerged.
- Person Centred – rather than instructing or directing you towards change, we invite you to experiment, problem solve, calculate risk, employ creativity and find your own solutions which work best for you.
- Ethical – we adhere to both the EAGALA and the BACP code of ethics, ensuring best practice and the highest level of care.
Why we use horses:
Horses have many characteristics which lend them to being effective agents of change, including honesty, awareness, and very clear non verbal communication. Naturally intimidating to many, horses are large and powerful with an innate herd instinct – a desire to belong. Horses are open to being in a relationship. This creates an opportunity for us to overcome fear and develop confidence as we negotiate the boundaries of this relationship. Working alongside a horse, in spite of our fears, provides helpful insight when dealing with other challenging and intimidating behaviours.
Like us, horses are social animals with defined roles in their herds. They have distinct personalities, attitudes and moods – an approach which works with one horse won’t necessarily work with another. At times they may seem stubborn and defiant. They like to have fun. In other words, horses provide many opportunities for metaphorical learning – an effective, challenging but non confrontational technique when working with the most challenging of individual or groups.