Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
Ready for a different approach to therapy? You'll be amazed at what you can learn from a horse.
Equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP) offers an innovative experiential approach that engages our whole selves – thoughts, feelings and body sensations -- in ways that talk therapy can’t. With the guidance and support of an experienced EAP team, sessions with horses offer a safe way to catalyze the therapeutic process and provide opportunities to discover and try out new ways of being with ourselves and with others. Many people find that working in an arena with a herd of horses – large, curious, honest, and nonjudgmental living beings – stirs up not only their deepest fears (such as rejection and failure) but also their deepest hopes (such as connection and confidence). Put another way, it's hard to fool a horse.
The focus of EAP is not on riding horses or learning horsemanship skills. EAP consists of horse-based activities that call on the client or group to be self-aware, experiment, learn, and apply certain skills – such as assertiveness, self-awareness, patience, creativity, and teamwork. The therapist and equine specialist make observations, ask questions and help the participants get the most out of their experience. By observing old habits in the arena, and experimenting with new possibilities, people gain practical insight that they can use to change their lives.
When challenges involve the family or interpersonal relationships (like parent-child conflicts), sessions with the horses can be a great way to explore those patterns in a safe environment, with honest feedback from the horses, and experiment together with new, more satisfying, ways of relating.
Sessions at ClearWind Farm are run by experienced equine assisted therapy teams. Our practitioners are certified by the Equine Growth and Learning Association and/or PATH International. Clients contract with our psychotherapists, who are licensed by the state of North Carolina to provide psychotherapy.
Whether you are looking for a leg up on your personal growth, or want professional help addressing psychological challenges such as anxiety, depression or trauma, equine assisted psychotherapy might be a good fit for you.