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Equine Assisted Therapy?

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  • Equine Assisted Therapy?

    Would like to quickly point out before getting to my post, i do mean Equine Assisted Psychotherapy *NOT* therapeutic riding, important distinction.

    Anyway, does anyone here do this? Recieved this? Have any interaction with or know someone who does this? Would really like to hear more. Replies or PMs welcome. Am interested in it as a career path, but information is kind of limited on the internet for it. Or maybe i am just searching in the wrong places. Certainly not a "normal" college major, so hard to get much advice/guidance from all the regular places.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I don't think that is a field in itself, separate from general therapy using horses.
    We have several kids that have problems you may say their hippotherapy could be considered "Equine Assisted Psychotherapy".

    I would say that, by the time you would graduate, you may have a specialty dedicated to that, the way we keep fractioning knowledge.

    Comment


    • #3
      The term you want to use is Equine Assisted Psychotherapy rather than simply therapy. The first stop I would make would be to http://eagala.org

      We are hoping to establish a formal program this year.

      My daughter is going to start her BA in Psychology next year at Penn State, and this was something that she was intrigued by, but as of right now we were only seeing post grad, post baccalaureate and continuing ed programs.
      I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

      Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

      Comment


      • #4
        Took courses and became "Certified" in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy a number of years ago.

        I am not a licensed therapist so the income was not really there at the time.
        I had several professionals eagerly lined up to participate but ended up not pursuing it. I also didn't want just anyone coming to my property and it became complicated to find a facility that would have the necessary insurances.

        I have seen it work miracles though...a very valid program especially if you can get work in a residence type facility.

        There are many people doing it though and they share their "exercises"...some very imaginative.

        HaHa..just saw the previous post about EAGALA...thats the program I went through. Its great.
        "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks for the responses! RE the first poster, it definitely is different from PHYSICAL therapies associated with horses. Hippo therapy and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy are not one and the same, although i think you are right in that it has yet to become as widely known as physical therapies using horses.

          Yes, have checked out that site. Helpful to a certain extend! But am trying to find more facilities that do it that aren't just sort of backyard types. If it's of any interest, eventually what i want to do is have a facility that is a horse and maybe a few other species rescue and have sort of "troubled teens" (as a live in situation) participate in EAP with the rescues. So sort of each kid would get assigned a horse and have mutual healing go on. But it doesnt seem like there are a whole lot of places that do that??

          So far i have come up with double majoring in Psychology and Animal Science, doesn't seem like there is anything more specific i can do to academically prepare myself? I plan on getting a PhD in psych/clinical therapy as well
          Last edited by littletuna; Nov. 28, 2009, 05:47 PM. Reason: edited to add college major stuff

          Comment


          • #6
            You'll definitely want to check out Green Chimneys, and I wouldn't discount learning from "backyard programs". I'm not sure if you were referring to mine or not...but we are expected to serve at least 150 clients from my "backyard" this year. Some through Hippotherapy, some through Therapeutic Riding, some still through Therapeutic Horsemanship in addition to the new Equine Facilitated Learning and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy programs that will be added this year. We have a Sensory Trail and we will be beginning a day hab type program as well

            I do highly recommend volunteering with several TR programs for at least a year if you have not already.
            I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

            Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Sorry realize looking back, i didn't mean to discount "backyard programs"!! I have not looked at yours, but will. I'm sure you know what you are doing, just the ones i've come across were mostly out west and were more of "put a city kid in with a wild mustang and have 'em duke it out until it's broke". Which is really NOT what i'm looking for. Or a lot of people sort of lump it in with Hippo type therapies. Sorry i didn't specify, wasn;t trying to put you down! And you're programs look really well researched and carried out now that i am looking.

              I have/had volunteered at a TR place for i think 4? maybe 5? years. Was a really amazing experience and i learned a TON. I've just recently decided i am more interested in Psychotherapy than more physical therapy based programs.

              Comment


              • #8
                No offense taken, sometimes people think programs only come in big huge packages Wasn't sure if that is what you meant or not.

                Since you have the volunteer experience under your belt you have a huge part of what you'll need to bring to your future goals.

                Green Chimney's is a must see for you! I think the website is http://www.greenchimneys.org/
                I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

                Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Equine Assisted Therapy

                  Equine assisted therapy(EAT) includes both physical, occupational, speech (typically hippotherapy) and mental health programs. EAT is provided by a licensed healthcare professional in their field of specialty- so the first thing you need to decide is what profession you want your education in- psychology, social work, counseling. Then you will take continuing education or clinical placement at facilities that offer EAT. There are many organizations including EAGLA and EFMHA that offer continuing education. The important thing is to become a good clinician first.

                  As a few mentioned, Equine Assisted Activities are different and include therapeutic riding and other education based programs that are provided by riding instructors, educators or other coaches.
                  Karma and Drifter girl
                  http://www.horsescanhelp.com
                  http://www.mydriftersjourney.blogspot.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Check out The Bear Spot Foundation. It's in Concord, Ma and run by Grand Prix rider Jane Karol and I'm not sure who else. I know she has a partner. I *believe* Jane is a psychotherapist and her partner is also something along those lines. I am sorry to be so vague, but I really don't know much about it.

                    You may be able to find a link via www.neda.org
                    Every year there are dressage related clinics held at Bear Spot Farm to benefit The Bear Spot Foundation.

                    I do not know Jane personally, but I have heard she is a wonderful person. It might be worth your while to contact her.
                    Beth

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I wonder if you are aware of the history of animal assisted therapy?
                      Here is a short on Wikipedia, that may help you in your studies, as a starting point, putting the history in context:

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_b...animal_bonding

                      ---"Human-animal bonding
                      Main article: Pet
                      Wikiversity has learning materials about Human-animal bond

                      Human-animal bond human to animal contact is known to reduce the physiological characteristics of stress.The human-animal bond can be defined as a connection between people and animals, domestic or wild; be it a cat as a pet or birds outside one’s window. Research into the nature and merit of the human animal bond began in the late 1700s when, in York, England, the Society of Friends established the The Retreat to provide humane treatment for the mentally ill. By having patients care for the many farm animals on the estate, society officials theorized that the combination of animal contact plus productive work would facilitate the patients’ rehabilitation. In the 1870s in Paris, a French surgeon had patients with neurological disorders ride horses. The patients were found to have improved their motor control and balance and were less likely to suffer bouts of depression.[13]

                      In the 19th century, in Bielefeld, Germany, epileptic patients were given the prescription to spend time each day taking care of cats and dogs. The contact with the animals was found to reduce the occurrence of seizures. In 1980, a team of scientists at the University of Pennsylvania found that human to animal contact was found to reduce the physiological characteristics of stress; specifically, lowered levels of blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, anxiety, and tension were all found to correlate positively with human pet bonding.[13]

                      Historically, animals were domesticated for functional use; for example, dogs for herding and tracking, and cats for killing mice or rats. Today, in Western societies, their function is primarily a bonding function. For example, current studies show that 60–80% of dogs sleep with their owners at night in the bedroom, either in or on the bed.[14] Moreover, in the past the majority of cats were kept outside (barn cats) whereas today most cats are kept indoors (housecats) and considered part of the family. Presently, in the US, for example, 1.2 billion animals are kept as pets, primarily for bonding purposes.[14] In addition, as of 1995 there were over 30 research institutions looking into the potential benefits of the human animal bond.[13]"---

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Here is the link to the internship at Green Chimneys
                        I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

                        Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Equineartworks: Thanks! I remember i once saw that organization, but entirely forgot about it. Might inquire about doing an internship there later on.

                          Again thank you for all the responses, to the poster above that's interesting it dates back so far.

                          Invite: i will definitely try to find a link to her site, she is somewhat close to me

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Check out EFMHA's brochure and poke around their site. The important thing seems to be something you are taking care of already: Getting education and training (and then licensed/certified) in a mental health field. There are too many nuts out there saying they are offering equine facilitated psychotherapy who have no qualifications to be practicing therapy.

                            Green Chimneys has a few internship options. The one linked earlier in this thread is closer to a traditional clinical internship that you would be doing in any Residential Treatment Center: You spend the majority of your time providing therapy for a caseload, doing psychological evaluations, etc. The difference is in the access you have to the farm (equines, other farm animals, a wildlife center, etc) and the opportunity to work with the animals and your clients providing animal assisted therapy. The linked one is for doctoral students in psych but there are other programs as well. PM me if you have any questions about GC.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You may want to look into Midway College (assuming you are female?). I have my BA in Equine Assisted Learning - I took courses in both psychology and equine studies with a few classes specific to equine assisted psychotherapy/learning. I then got my MSSW because there are more oppurtunities if you are on the mental health side.

                              Finding a job in the field, pretty much means you will be starting your own program. There is very little turn-over in the field and most programs are small and do not need to hire anyone. So taking some business classes will help you out as well.

                              Let me know if you have any other specific questions about Midway or anything really.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Look into EFMHA and EAGALA--different organizations, but both great programs. If you're anywhere near North Carolina, I'd love to invite you to see NCTRC's programming! I will say that my personal opinion is that it's most powerful when done by a good clinician with some horse background. But it's pretty interesting stuff; I think people can make some amazing progress with it.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by shanky View Post
                                  Check out EFMHA's brochure and poke around their site. The important thing seems to be something you are taking care of already: Getting education and training (and then licensed/certified) in a mental health field. There are too many nuts out there saying they are offering equine facilitated psychotherapy who have no qualifications to be practicing therapy.

                                  Green Chimneys has a few internship options. The one linked earlier in this thread is closer to a traditional clinical internship that you would be doing in any Residential Treatment Center: You spend the majority of your time providing therapy for a caseload, doing psychological evaluations, etc. The difference is in the access you have to the farm (equines, other farm animals, a wildlife center, etc) and the opportunity to work with the animals and your clients providing animal assisted therapy. The linked one is for doctoral students in psych but there are other programs as well. PM me if you have any questions about GC.
                                  Shanky, how can they be practicing any type of Psychotherapy without a license? I was under the impression that having a license to practice was required in all states? I have always thought of Psychotherapy in the same terms as medical treatment so our team members are all required to be licensed to practice. I never would have considered having it any other way. I guess I shouldn't be shocked to hear that there are people out there doing it...
                                  I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

                                  Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by equineartworks View Post
                                    Shanky, how can they be practicing any type of Psychotherapy without a license? I was under the impression that having a license to practice was required in all states? I have always thought of Psychotherapy in the same terms as medical treatment so our team members are all required to be licensed to practice. I never would have considered having it any other way. I guess I shouldn't be shocked to hear that there are people out there doing it...
                                    I hope my post was not unclear: I was not saying anyone at GC was doing this.

                                    Psychologists (PhD & PsyD), MSWs, CSWs, MFTs, etc., as you probably know, are all licensed by their various boards, overseeing bodies, etc. But, anyone on the planet can call themselves a "therapist" or "psychotherapist" and hang a shingle. As far as practicing "psychotherapy" without a license, oversight varies from state to state. The only things standing in a fake therapist's way would be educated consumers, who want to see credentials, and billing issues: Medical insurance providers won't cover the cost of treatment with these unlicensed folks. Also, they would not be able to get malpractice insurance and all of that.

                                    But these people are out there. There was one woman who was running a "practice" out of a barn I used to board at. She called herself an Equine Psychotherapist and solved the billing issue by catering to wealthy Manhattan clients who would self-pay. I once asked her what her degree was in: She had an undergrad degree in psychology. I also see a lot of the same types at the humane education and other conferences I go to.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by shanky View Post
                                      I hope my post was not unclear: I was not saying anyone at GC was doing this.

                                      Psychologists (PhD & PsyD), MSWs, CSWs, MFTs, etc., as you probably know, are all licensed by their various boards, overseeing bodies, etc. But, anyone on the planet can call themselves a "therapist" or "psychotherapist" and hang a shingle. As far as practicing "psychotherapy" without a license, oversight varies from state to state. The only things standing in a fake therapist's way would be educated consumers, who want to see credentials, and billing issues: Medical insurance providers won't cover the cost of treatment with these unlicensed folks. Also, they would not be able to get malpractice insurance and all of that.

                                      But these people are out there. There was one woman who was running a "practice" out of a barn I used to board at. She called herself an Equine Psychotherapist and solved the billing issue by catering to wealthy Manhattan clients who would self-pay. I once asked her what her degree was in: She had an undergrad degree in psychology. I also see a lot of the same types at the humane education and other conferences I go to.
                                      Shanky, not at all did I think that.

                                      This is really shocking for me to hear. I hold Psychologists in high regard, like any professional, and can't imagine ever working with anyone who isn't licensed. I guess I am not surprised...just sad.
                                      I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

                                      Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Equine Assisted Psychotherapy is the field that I'm going into. Right now I'm undergraduate, but planning on getting my LMFT while completing an Equine Therapy Program training.

                                        I've received Equine Assisted Psychotherapy several times-- Once in AZ and a couple other times in CA, in treatment of my eating disorder. Works wonders, absolutely great, wonderful way to treat mental illness.

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