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How Does Equine Therapy Help Overcome Drug & Alcohol Addiction?
A Better Today Recovery Services understands that active addiction affects people differently. Many have traumatic experiences involving others that instantly spark mistrust and defensive behaviors when interacting with people. Opening up or really feeling comfortable enough to discuss personal trauma and the issue can be difficult for those same people, even if talking with a licensed professional. This is why our network of addiction treatment centers offers equine therapy in drug and alcohol treatment plans. Working with animals like horses allows patients a different method of treatment that encourages healing.
Equine-assisted therapy (EAT) is a holistic approach to substance abuse treatment. Studying the behaviors and interacting with horses can provide insight that can help overcome addiction or emotional issues that can be detrimental to living a happy and healthy life. EAT is based on interacting with the horses to encourage emotional healing and personal growth. Many people who own pets can attest to the moments of clarity and happiness that come by interacting with animals. Developing a bond with an animal helps teach the value of healthy relationships and personal growth, and a horse, due to its behaviors being similar to a human’s, can help in that healing and growth.
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How Does Equine Therapy Work?
Equine-assisted Therapy is a common treatment method that uses horses to help promote emotional growth for mood, behavior, or substance abuse disorders. Qualified therapists utilize EAT for numerous mental and genetic disorders, such as:
ADD | Anxiety Disorders | Drug & Alcohol Addiction | Mental Health Disorders
Dementia | Genetic Disorders |Down Syndrome | Autism
Brain Injuries | Mood Disorders | Depression | Psychological Trauma
Developing bonds with this animal that provides unconditional acceptance promotes personal healing and spiritual growth. By petting, brushing and feeding these majestic horses, the fresh air and peace of mind provides a safe place to work through issues and plan for a positive future. ABTRS respects our patient’s needs for equine therapy and are proud to provide the opportunity.
Why Use Horses for Therapy?
Horses are the most popularly used animal for therapy alongside cats and dogs. Due to the horse’s ability to respond immediately and give feedback to a person’s action or behavior makes this animal suitable for mood and substance abuse disorders. The foundation of this therapy is that because horses behave similarly like human beings do, it is always easy for patients to establish a connection and build a healthy relationship.
Therapeutic Benefits of Horse Therapy
Addiction affects many people differently; in the thralls of active addiction many have experienced bad trips or overdoses that have left a long-lasting effect on the way the brain functions. LSD, antipsychotics and many other drugs can influence cognitive, psycho-motor and socially acceptable behaviors. Many of those people have utilized equine therapy and have experience positive results.
Equine therapy provides patients with a safe environment that doesn’t make it seem as though one is in therapy. Safe environments, whether in an office or outside petting a horse, gives a person time to reflect, grow or assess issues or raw emotions that can leave one feeling shame or regret. Therapists have noticed positive changes in the following areas:
- Building a sense of self-worth
- Improving communication
- Building trust and self-efficiency with therapist or self
- Developing socialization skills and decreasing isolating behaviors
- Learning to respect and establish limits or boundaries
- Equine therapeutic activities
What are the equine-related activities for therapeutic purposes?
Many patients may feel intimidated by the horse’s size and features making riding the horses not a part of the therapy. Therapy programs are lessons on horse care, horse grooming, forcing more on relationships and temperance of emotions. In all equine lessons, safety is the primary concern for both the patient and the horse.
Other Effective Treatment Methods
- Cognitive Therapy for Drug & Alcohol Treatment
Find out more about how cognitive behavior therapy can help you through your recovery process.
- Effective Approaches to Substance Abuse Therapy
- Both one-on-one and group therapy sessions can help you during your time in an addiction recovery program.
- Drug & Alcohol Treatment
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How Treatment Facilities Utilize Equine Therapy
While attending equine therapy, patients interact with the horses as part of their treatment. Drugs and alcohol tend to isolate people, discouraging simple pleasures. A safe environment that encourages finding a peace of mind can help encourage a spark for life that drugs and alcohol rob from people.
Those who have graduated a treatment program have expressed how difficult it is to communicate to people when first getting sober, finding that they are easily irritated when trying to express themselves. Equine therapy helps in finding the ability to safely express oneself.
Equine Therapy as a Privilege-Reward System
Equine therapy is a popular choice for unique patient-driven privilege system. Setting achievable goals in rehab improves a patient’s mood and offers motivation to achieve greatness. By completing lessons and coursework, patients can achieve different rewards ranging from backpacks to equine therapy.
Many treatment centers that use equine therapy motivate their patients and offer incentives that encourages progress in treatment. Rewards like equine therapy and tension releasing massages enhances their treatment experience. To learn more about the benefits of equine therapy, give us a call today.
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Knowing the Effectiveness of Drug & Alcohol Treatment Methods Begins with Reputable Sources
Substance abuse treatment needs to be both tailored to the individual’s needs and proven to be effective. Anyone who experiences active addiction has a different experience and this needs to be a factor when provide treatment for long-lasting recovery. Because the influence of addiction varies from person to person, the importance of multiple and effective treatment methods is important to ABTRS.
We utilize various treatment methods that have been proven to be effective by the scientific and psychological community. If you are going to trust us to help you or your loved one find treatment, we want to be entirely transparent about the resources we use. Check out the list below to learn more about the foundation we base our treatment methods on. We believe knowledge empowers people to make good choices that will benefit you and your loved one’s future.
Barker SB. Therapeutic Aspects of the Human-Companion Animal Interaction. Psychiatric Times 1999;XVI (2).
McCormick A, McCormick M. Horse Sense and the Human Heart: What Horses Can Teach Us About Trust, Bonding, Creativity and Spirituality. Deerfield Beach, Florida: Health Communications, Inc. 1997.
Hauge, H., Kvalem, I. L., Berget, B., Enders-Slegers, M. J., & Braastad, B. O. (2013). Equine-assisted activities and the impact on perceived social support, self-esteem and self-efficacy among adolescents – an intervention study. International journal of adolescence and youth, 19(1), 1-21.
Medically Reviewed Articles & Resources
New NIH Study Uncovers Common Genetic Indicators for Substance Use Disorders
Reading Time: 4 minutes A groundbreaking NIH study has uncovered common genetic indicators for substance use disorders, offering valuable insights into the genetic factors contributing to addiction.
Addiction and Codependency: Are You Helping or Hurting Your Partner?
Reading Time: 7 minutes If you are currently in a relationship with someone who struggles with addiction, it’s may be a relationship with codependent attributes.
What is Alcoholic Neuropathy? [Guide]
Reading Time: 6 minutes Alcoholic neuropathy is nerve damage that occurs in someone who drinks alcohol excessively.