Resiliency - One of the most important things to learn is how to cope with everyday stressors while engaging in the healing process. Triggers or stressors are found in our everyday lives, so it is important to be able to learn skills to cope with and manage these feelings. Experiential equine assisted psychotherapy groups can help individuals cope with different emotions and situations which will come up organically through working with the horses. It also allows the individual to learn emotion regulation as the horse responds to his/her emotions and heart rate. This group and these experiences with the horses also provides an opportunity for clients to learn the cause of their maladaptive thinking or emotions which makes it difficult to have effective coping skills.
It Takes a Village – Parent Support Group: This group provides a space for parents of children with difficult symptoms, ranging from physical disabilities to behavioral difficulties, to feel supported by their peers and allow them to vent cathartically about their difficult week as well as work with the horses to learn effective regulation and strategies for self care.
Coping with Mental Health – Learning that you have been diagnosed with a mental illness can shock many, and they often feel shamed, so going to family or friends for support can be difficult as they are now seen as “different”. A support group for individuals recently diagnosed with a mental illness provides an opportunity for nonjudgmental bonding with a horse and an opportunity for members to learn that they are more than their diagnosis and do not need to be defined by this.
“Empowerment” – Being a teenager can be hard, and there are lots of opportunities to have a negative self image; teen girls or boys empowerment groups boost self-esteem and confidence. Here, we utilize creative thinking and problem solving with the horses and each other to instill self confidence and esteem in our teens.
Rise Above – A group for survivors of domestic violence. The focus of this group is on building healthy boundaries, confidence, assertiveness, positive relationships and forgiveness of self. EAP is an experiential and effective way to help boost esteem, and overcome challenges members did not think were possible. Finding comfort and respect in a nonjudgmental relationship with their horse, the members will begin to feel empowered and begin to heal from their past abuse.
Love Thyself – Eating Disorder & Self Injurious Behavior groups: This is a psychotherapy group focusing on cognitive distortions often thought by teens and young adults who engage in these behaviors. For people suffering with these disorders, it is difficult for them to heal from their lack of confidence and cognitive distortions. Utilizing horses, members are able to care for the horses nutritionally and through grooming and will see the positive effects of their work. Treatment is then able to assist these clients in translating the care for the horses into self care.
Sober Living – Substance Abuse Recovery groups: Horses, because of their nonjudgmental nature, are a great way to help individuals in recovery and to realize that they are more than their addiction. relationship between horse and human is instrumental in the recovery process. Members cannot be actively using or intoxicated as it is contraindicated for EAP and work with horses.
Let’s Talk – Communication/Social Skills Groups: Navigating the social and communication nuances of childhood and adolescence can be hard. Horses are a great way of learning and practicing new and effective ways of communication and socialization… and it’s fast! Horses have a keen way of helping us learn new ways to communicate when what we have previously tried does not work. While this is not a psychotherapy group, we focus on improving social skills and communication with kids/adolescents having a difficult time with socializing in an appropriate manner.
Let the Light Shine – Dealing with depression can be difficult, and often those suffering feel misunderstood. Depression groups focus on the bond between horse and human, and allow for spontaneous times of happiness while also working through moments of depression.
Jail Diversion – Often, teenagers act out when something is going on with them internally. Emotions can be confusing and can lead to drug use, violence and involvement with the criminal justice system. We believe that treatment rather than jail time can be an effective way of helping our adolescent community heal and decrease the recidivism rate. Treatment would include Equine Assisted Therapy as well as community giving. Spending time with horses in and outside of therapy, and completing various tasks around the farm help individuals heal through this experiential therapy and gain self-awareness and empathy towards other beings.
Horses Helping Healers - An open-ended group for mental health professionals to engage in self care and de-stressing techniques through an equine facilitated psychotherapy groups. The focus of this group will be to assist mental health professionals in engaging in self care, learning and practicing effective de-stressing skills and provide a space to increase mindfulness and mutual aid while working with the horses.