Using animal interaction for medical purposes isn’t a new thing when you think about guide dogs for the blind as a classic example. But horses? Although it may sound a little out there, research has shown that involving horses in addiction therapy is extremely beneficial. Known as Equine Assisted Psychotherapy or EAP, this pioneering addiction treatment uses horses as a tool to provide patients on drug and alcohol treatment programs with valuable insights on personal boundaries and relationships. Interacting with horses has been proven to boost emotional growth and learning among those struggling with addiction.
The Psychological Benefits Horses Offer
Horses are pack animals that form extremely strong bonds with humans based on who takes care of their needs, in a similar way as dogs behave. By learning to communicate with a horse based on the sounds they make, such as whinnying or stamping its hooves, you can learn more about the unexpressed emotions that underlie your addiction issues.
Using horses in addiction therapy provides another method of communication, which is the key to successful recovery. Over the course of an hour spent riding or even just engaging with a horse, it is noticeable how they react to various stimuli such as a person’s feelings of aggression or fear. They pick up on negative energies and react accordingly. This in turn provokes a response from the patient in which they calm the horse while de-stressing at the same time. This is the main reason EAP is considered a powerful therapy that is increasingly being incorporated into holistic treatment programs.
How EAP or Horse Therapy Work?
- Patients are taught to understand how a horse communicates its responses to your feelings and in that respect, serves as a tool for greater emotional growth.
- A combination of interaction with horses and horse professionals, together with psychotherapy, can improve recovery considerably.
- Horses act as mirrors to a human’s emotional state but they also have their own personalities and moods. They respond mainly to the energy people emit and their body language. EAP helps patients understand their own state of mind with much more clarity.
Learn More about Addiction Treatment in San Juan Capistrano, CA at CASA Recovery
At CASA Recovery of Southern California, we embrace all holistic and conventional addiction treatment techniques in order to find the best solution for your specific addiction issues. Our addiction recovery center has a relaxed and comfortable environment where you are not judged or defined about the issues you face. Instead, we nurture you through the alcohol or drug addiction program so that you are well-equipped to face a life of sobriety on your own. For more information about the wide ranging programs we offer holistic treatment options and contact us today in complete confidence.