Equine Assisted Therapy

Equine assisted therapy has been around for quite some time, although many people are not familiar with its association to drug treatment programs. Originally used as a form of therapy for those with acute and chronic illnesses, physical disabilities and developmental disorders, it transitioned over as a form of treatment for those with depression, anxiety and addictions, as well as eating disorders. Animal therapy has a wide range of psychological and physical benefits including lowering blood pressure, decreasing heart rate, increasing beta-endorphin levels, lowering stress levels, reducing feelings of hostility and improving self-esteem. It is clear to see the incredible benefits this therapy has to offer. Here is a closer look at how equine assisted therapy programs help with addiction and recovery.

Benefits of Treatment

Animal therapy has produced incredible results with a variety of people in recovery. It is looked upon as a crucial healing and learning experience for those in drug treatment programs. Research has shown equine assisted therapy to help increase an individual's feelings of empowerment, their trust, patience and self-confidence. Interaction with these majestic and gentle creatures has been extremely beneficial for those in recovery from drugs and alcohol.

Drug Rehab Centers in Rochester understands and appreciates the incredible healing powers that this form of treatment can offer those in drug treatment programs. Trained staff members look for opportunities to help individuals get in touch with their internal feelings and needs during their interactions with the horses. Many deeper issues are touched on during these sessions. This may include dealing with past feelings of rejection, being vulnerable, lack of personal identity and a need for support or protection.

What Can it Teach You

Horse therapy offers a multitude of learning opportunities. Clinicians who have been working with those in recovery have stated the following as some of the most commonly seen benefits of this program. It can teach patients:

  • How to communicate effectively
  • The value of respect and trust in your relationships
  • Dynamics of power between people
  • Teamwork, and the importance of working together as a community
  • How to evaluate and establish healthier relationships and boundaries
  • How to respect individuality in yourself and others
  • How to acknowledge and appreciate your self-worth

Horse Therapy and the Power of Trust

Equine-assisted therapy teaches one critical lesson– the important of trust. Horses are animals that are very clear on their boundaries and needs, and they have no hidden agenda. Trying to overpower or bully a horse just doesn't work, and a level of trust must be formed. Trust is one life skill many people in drug recovery have problems with. Many counselors report that individuals in a treatment program often have the need to control everything, every situation, and try to bulldoze or overpower others to get their way. With horses, this simply isn't possible; it brings those in recovery on an incredible journey of realizing the impact controlling behavior has on those around them.

If you or someone you love is considering entering a drug treatment program and would like to know more about equine assisted therapy, call Drug Rehab Centers Rochester to learn more. We will help you search for rehab facilities. Call today, (585)283-6613.

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