Sensatori Space Cyprus

Equine Therapy

WHAT IS EQUINE THERAPY?

Equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) brings horses and humans together. By studying the interaction between human and horse in a variety of activities, the psychotherapist can gather a great deal of information about how a client interacts with others.

This form of therapy is largely non-verbal and requires a great deal of emotional input from the client. It’s carried out in an experiential manner, which is highly effective for those who are unable to talk about their feelings and communicate with others. The horse will react to the client’s emotional state, offering insight and awareness for the psychotherapist to build on during rehabilitation.

Horses are prey animals. They have evolved to work together in a herd, and because of this, horses have learned to engage and bond with those around them. When you depend on a horse for practical purposes (i.e. survival), you are part of the herd – they depend on you to survive, and you depend on them. If one member of the herd is startled, the entire herd respond in the same way. For the animal, it’s a matter of life and death.

As a result, horses can respond to the emotional state of humans, without the need for verbal communication. They can sense fear, anxiety and respect, and they react accordingly without the preconceptions that exist with human interaction.

Because of this sensitivity, equine-assisted psychotherapy helps clients understand and cater for the needs of others, without thinking about themselves first. Oftentimes, people with addictions tend to consider and attempt to fulfil their own desires.

Equine-assisted psychotherapy helps people gain self-awareness and insight into how their actions might affect others. It helps them develop the skills they need to understand and interpret the non-verbal language of others.

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HOW DOES EQUINE THERAPY WORK?

Equine-assisted psychotherapy uses a highly structured, activity-based approach to promote personal growth and responsibility and provide resolution from trauma. Focused EAP is designed to enhance healthy interaction, empower people positively and break down the barriers that prevent communication. It is a rewarding and effective treatment for addiction, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress.

There’s a common misconception about equine-assisted psychotherapy: people believe that this form of therapy involves riding horses to overcome trauma and addiction. In actuality, there is no horse riding at Sensatori Space. Instead, it uses activities and tasks to bring the horse and client closer together in a gentle environment from the ground.

To find out more about equine-assisted psychotherapy, watch our video.

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