Frequently Asked Questions
Can I stop by to see the farm?
No. Due to confidentiality needs of clients, visitors are welcome only during pre-arranged times.
Where is the farm?
The farm is located at 7961 Scenic Trail, Chapel Hill, near the intersection of Teer Rd and Orange Grove Road. It is the first driveway to the left on Scenic Trail. That said, see previous FAQ.
Do you board horses?
Do you offer therapeutic riding for people with disabilities?
No. However, the North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center, just miles away, does.
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Questions
People who have been around horses tend to “get” that there is “just something about horses”. Horses have a large presence that tends to evoke our fears, hopes and yearnings. They are social and curious and interact with people in a variety of ways that inevitably stir up our strengths and weaknesses. Horses are not fooled by posturing and self-presentation; nor are they concerned with a person’s class, race or religion; they tune into something deeper. Horses are intuitive and are present here and now; they respond instantly to the humans around them, almost like biofeedback machines. In essence, horses do naturally what every good therapist strives to do: tune in to peoples’ inner experiences and challenge them to grow.
Who can benefit from EAP?
Equine assisted psychotherapy is a therapeutic approach that can have incredible impacts on individuals, youth, families, and groups. EAP addresses a variety of mental health and human development needs including depression and anxiety, behavioral issues, eating disorders, interpersonal relationships and anger issues. It can also be used for families —including parenting and relationship conflicts — and as a way to improve teamwork in organizations and businesses. During the initial phone interview, we will determine together if this approach is suitable for your situation.
What goes on in an EAP session?
Clients co-create a focus for their work, and then are invited by the EAP team to engage with the horses in tasks to help them with that focus (guiding a horse through an obstacle course, for example). But like life, EAP sessions are unpredictable. Your personality and mood will mix with the personality and mood of the horse(s) and the activity at hand to create a unique experience; one that will inevitably stir up feelings, fears, and relationship dynamics – positive and negative – that are at play in your life. Our horse-therapists are very keen at giving clients what it is they seem to need. Matt and Suzanne will be on-hand to support you in getting the most out of the experience.
Can I continue to see my therapist and have sessions of EAP?
Yes. In fact we encourage you to so you can get the most out of your experience. If you do not have one, we can discuss the possibility of you seeing Matt at his separate practice in Chapel Hill.
How many sessions does it take?
This is hard to say. In general, we have found that a natural ending point usually emerges somewhere between 4 and 10 sessions, but we have gone longer and shorter with clients in the past.
What does it cost?
Because each session requires two professionals, horses and the facility, rates are higher than in-office therapy. Full cost for a session is $175. However, we strive to make this valuable resource available to everyone regardless of ability to pay and we do offer sliding fees -- please do not hesitate to ask.
Do you take insurance?
No. But we have a strong belief in universal access to quality health care and we will do everything we can to make that happen for you.
What do I need to bring or wear?
Boots are suggested, but sneakers are fine. No open-toed shoes. You may want to bring a water bottle, a hat and sunscreen.
What about bad weather?
We have an indoor arena. However, in severe weather (lightening, snow etc.) we will contact you (please check your phone). You can also call Matt’s cell phone at 336-775-7881.
Where can I learn more about EAP?
We suggest you visit the website of the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association, the outfit that trained us.
I'm interested... What next?
First, if you are seeing at therapist currently, consult with him or her. Then email or call Matt to explore how EAP might be of service to you.
Second, complete and return intake forms (available for download from this website).
Finally, schedule an appointment.