what is it?
Psychotherapy (sometimes called “talk therapy”) is a term for a variety of treatment techniques that aim to help a person identify and change troubling emotions, thoughts, and behavior. Most psychotherapy takes place with a licensed and trained mental health care professional and a client meeting one-on-one or with other clients in a group setting. Equine facilitated psychotherapy takes place at the barn, outside most of the time. We host a session in teams of four – the Mental Health Professional, Equine Specialist, the Client and the horse.
If you or someone you know may need individual sessions see our Steps Forward Program
at risk youth
Youth can receive individual therapy sessions as well as group therapy. Our equine therapy program-staffed by credentialed professionals-is an integral part of our program for troubled youth.
- Equine therapy is offered to individuals, groups, and families.
- Students develop bonds with the horses as they feed, groom, and care for the animals.
- Although many students resist traditional therapy and support groups, most don’t realize that equine therapy is actually therapy.
- Students learn to communicate and how to build trust with their horses, and can translate those skills into their person-to-person relationships.
Walk With Me equine therapists are trained in psychotherapy. They team with an Equine Specialist that has received certification and specialized training in equine therapy. Equine therapists help students experience mindfulness and peace as they spend time with horses, increasing their sense of calm, well-being, and connection to the animals.
Equine assisted psychotherapy has shown to be effective in treating combat veterans, PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
The veterans program at Walk With Me allows veterans to work through challenges by forming connected relationships with the horses. Veterans learn to care for and interact with the horses in meaningful ways, while learning and practicing new relationship skills with them, under the guidance of trained professionals.
Walk With Me helps Veterans like Marine Corps Veteran James, who found himself feeling disconnected—and then later, seething with rage. “I was angry on a level that I had never been before in my life,” he says. “I was filled with hate.”
- High rates of divorce, homelessness, substance abuse, family issues, and un/underemployment.
According to a 2011 Straits-Troster study, almost 40% of our returning troops suffer from depression, anxiety and PTSD. Not only do these poor mental health conditions negatively impact the lives of the veterans and their families, they can also increase the likelihood of unemployment, poverty, domestic violence, homelessness, and suicide.
While there is no cure for PTSD, early identification and treatment of PTSD symptoms may lessen the severity of the condition and improve the overall quality of life for veterans suffering from this condition.
– Veteran’s Newsroom Statistics
- Develop habits of self-discipline and initiative
- Work ethics
- Personal growth
- Identify their unique strengths and passions for a healthy self-image
- And many more social and emotional skills
Sometimes our children need a little extra encouragement. The training at one of youth camps is a mix of horsemanship and equine assisted learning. We offer opportunities for critical thinking, problem solving, and team building. Becoming more assertive, setting clear boundaries, asking for what you need, that’s a short list of what your child can expect to discover and develop at one of our camps. We also teach Natural Horsemanship. Using the tools needed to become a horseman you will build confidence, improve communication, and encourage positive outcomes in your relationship with your horse. We’ll also have lots of fun.
Step Up is a program specifically tailored for people who suffer the effects of trauma. Walk With Me is excepting 10 young adults and 10 adults for 6 individual sessions each. If you think you need or know someone who may benefit from our program contact us.
- Denial of the traumatic event or events
- Developing numbness to the trauma (detaching emotions from thoughts and actions)
- Extreme anger or sadness
- Emotional outbursts (emotional dysregulation)
- Experiencing shame as a response to the trauma
- Somatic symptoms (physical responses, like shaking)
- Sleep problems and insomnia
- Breathing problems
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Substance abuse disorders
- Development of PTSD
An extremely stressful or disturbing event that’s left you feeling helpless and emotionally out of control. Trauma affects everyone differently, depending on both the circumstances and personality. For many, it can be difficult to understand what trauma is, let alone recognize the long-term effects of trauma and how to deal with it. Dealing with trauma is far from simple, particularly for those who also struggle with drug or alcohol addiction.
benefits of participating in equine assisted therapy
- Building trust
- Impulse control
- Emotional regulation
- Anger management
- Goal setting
- Work ethic
- Improved relationships
- Working through anxiety
- Overcoming fears
- Increased confidence
- Long term life skills
- Non-verbal communication
- Problem solving skills
- Increased Self Esteem
- Healthy attachments
- Creative thinking
- Taking responsibility