Equine Assisted Therapy
Horses are unique large animals, being animals of prey, they have highly evolved senses and respond intuitively to the other. They are non-verbal, which makes them sensitive to reading body language and they are even able to sense slight physiological changes within another horse or human. This gives them the unique ability to perceive emotions, which can promote self-awareness, through their immediate feedback.
Equine Assisted Therapy works with individuals offering sessions for at risk teens. Equine Assisted Therapy is a form of engagement where the horse acts as a co-facilitator and is a holistic alternative to traditional room-based sessions.
Therapy sessions are held in a rural setting within the Fleurieu Peninsula with specially selected horses. Sessions focus on Mindfulness-based activities and include spending time with the horses. This could be brushing, patting, and guided activities, although it is not about horsemanship skills. Mindfulness is a state of open, non-judgmental acceptance which, when incorporated with the horses, may help to support self-awareness and growth through experiential learning.
Equine Assisted Therapy incorporates a restorative informed approach and can help to increase awareness of emotions and behaviours that are no longer serving us well. It can support healthy contact with others, through experiential lessons that the horses have to teach us. It has been found to increase self-awareness, as the horse’s model being grounded and always live in a state of full-bodied awareness. Equine Assisted Therapy may also increase the possibility to learn new life skills and gain confidence.
Equine Therapies can be useful for reducing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, addictions and more. It has also been found to be useful for people on the autism spectrum, and those struggling with social and emotional transitions.
No horse experience is needed, and anyone can participate. Sessions are conducted by Registered Counsellors with the Australian Counselling Association.