What can clients expect?

This is non-threatening. When can I come back?”
    – A recovering substance abuser

Imagine yourself in a movie playing the main character.  It is Monday and you are encountering a struggle that is occurring more regularly in your life.  The scenario is predictable and ends badly.  STOP…CUT!  The director comments that you continue to do the same things even though they are not working, and suggests that you try something new.  Improvise!  NEXT SCENE …ACTION!  You make a couple of changes and notice people are looking at you differently.  Some seem to approve; others are doubtful.  This is not exactly the results you were looking for.  STOP.. CUT!  “What worked and what did not?” asks the director, adding;.“ This is progress.  Don’t give up, we have time to finish this scene.” NEXT SCENE… ACTION!  You try something new, wondering what the results will be…

You are the director of your life in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) sessions.  Horses, people, and props can represent situations in your life, easily pulled to the present moment.  In the arena, you can try out different solutions to life’s problems.  If one solution does not work, you have the freedom to try others.  The right solution is what works best for you.  EAP focuses on the resources and strengths that are found within each person. 

You will find new ways to overcome life challenges and make healing strides with people and horses working side by side in a confidential setting.  Your EAP team consists of a psychotherapist, the attending horse professional, your horse(s) and you.  The horse professional and the therapist match the right horse to your current situation in a physically and emotionally safe setting.

Each sixty to ninety minute EAP session is designed to meet the client’s current situation and need.  A typical EAP session begins with a discussion of safety, rules, and brief instructions.  Then, clients perform a task in a horse arena, a round pen, or a small corral.  This is the chance to experiment with different outcomes.  A first session may consist of catching and haltering a horse.  A small-group or family session might focus on cooperatively communicating to move a group of horses.  The goal is not horsemanship training.  In fact, the EAP team does not teach clients any “right way.”  The clients discover the right way that works for them.  Research supports that what clients discover for themselves provides the most lasting change.  Approximately ten minutes are reserved at the end of the session to talk about issues that came up or were resolved during the activity.

Women tend to analyze the situation and get so wrapped up in picking out the perfect solution that they tend to become immobilized. This exercise gave me the opportunity to try different ideas even if they were not perfect. And I learned that if one idea did not work, it did not mean that I was a failure, but that it was just not the right solution and to try another.”
    – A mother of a foster child