As I mentioned last week, the heroine of my upcoming book Forearmed is a child psychologist who uses horses to work with her troubled clients. Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy is a new and growing field and I thought I’d tell you a little about it today. Mostly I’m going to give you links to some interesting sites, rather than repeat the information given there.
Because horses are prey animals and super sensitive to their environment, they are also ultra aware of the humans around them. My horses can tell instantly what kind of mood I’m in and react accordingly. If I’m upset, and depending on their personality, they can be standoffish until I calm down. If I’m sad and unhappy they may be more lovey and stay close. And interestingly my moods usually shift quite quickly under their influence. I’ve always said that my horses keep me sane (though others may debate that).
Therapists are beginning to use this equine sensitivity to help troubled patients, particularly children and teens. Horses can tell them a lot about what is going on with their clients and help the kids approach the world differently. I’ve helped out at a local clinic and found it fascinating.
Here are links to sites that can tell you a lot more about EFP.
And here’s one that shows how horses can help heal grief.
***********photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/walkadog/3432890728/”>Beverly & Pack</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>
This is wonderful stuff! I know about physical therapy for disabled children, as my daughter used to volunteer and do that. But even that hippotherapy enormous has emotional and psychological benefits. It’s good someone is directing the therapy this way. Thanks for the post!