EQUINE THERAPHY IN COSTA RICA
We have set in Cartago province equine therapy for children. By working through equine therapy, everyone can develop skills such as communication, self-control, problem solving and accountability, as well as improving your self-esteem, empathy, flexibility and independence.
What Is Equine Therapy?
Equine-assisted psychotherapy incorporates horses into the therapeutic process. People engage in activities such as grooming, feeding, and leading a horse while being supervised by a mental health professional. Goals of this form of therapy including helping people develop skills such as emotional regulation, self-confidence, and responsibility.
Who It's For
Equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) can be used with a variety of populations and in a variety of therapeutic settings. In fact, horses can be used in counseling with individuals of all ages, even with families and groups.
Equine-assisted psychotherapy is often not the sole form of treatment, but rather a complementary therapeutic service to be used in partnership with more traditional treatment.
Offering a much different experience than traditional talk therapy, EAP brings people outdoors and offers an opportunity to use all senses while learning and processing through emotional challenges.
Children and Teens
Equine facilitated psychotherapy may be just as effective with children and teens as it is with adult. As with adults, children can experience challenges such as trauma, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more. Equine therapy offers them a therapeutic environment that can feel less threatening and more inviting than a traditional talk therapy office.
The majority of children participating in EAP are between the ages of 6 to 18 years old. Children often find it difficult to open up and process painful emotions and experiences. Equine-assisted psychotherapy allows youth, and people of all ages, to work on issues such as:1
Developing and maintaining relationships
Trust in others
Trust in self
Although a variety of animals can be used in the psychotherapeutic process, horses offer unique traits that have made them a top choice for animal-assisted therapies.
Non-Judgmental and Unbiased
As much as humans, especially therapists, do our best to offer a safe space for clients to explore deep emotional hurts and painful experiences, it can be uncomfortable for clients to openly share their thoughts.
Building therapeutic rapport can take time as participants working toward building trust and practicing vulnerability in session. Having the horse present may offer a sense of peace, as they only will react to the client's behavior and emotions with no threat of bias or any judgment of their emotional experience.
Feedback and Mirroring
Horses are keen observers and are vigilant and sensitive to movement and emotion. They often mirror a client's behavior or emotions, conveying understanding and connection that allows the client to feel safe.
This also allows for clients to maintain a sense of self-awareness, using the horse's behavior and interactions for feedback and opportunities to check in and process what is happening in the moment.
As clients might find themselves vulnerable when trying to open up about emotional challenges, past experiences, or life transitions, the horse can offer a reference point to use for processing.
If something feels too painful to speak of, it can feel a bit easier for clients to process using the horse as an example, or to align their experience with the horse's experiences in the moment. Externalizing the content in this way can make things easier to approach and process through.
Some other potential benefits of equine therapy include increased:
Horses also require work. They must be fed, watered, exercised, and groomed. Providing this type of care can often be therapeutic. It helps establish routines and structure, and the act of caring and nurturing something else can help build empathy.