What is Equine-Assisted Counseling?
New Found Life is proud to offer Equine-Assisted Counseling to our clients over the course of their holistic addiction recovery journey. By partnering with animals like horses, our clients experience what it’s like to have an animal read your body language and react accordingly.
Horses are uniquely suited to this task because they are prey animals who move in packs; their lives depend on paying attention to what we say non-verbally. Fostering complete trust with a prey animal requires fine-tuning your non-verbal communication skills. Equine-Assisted Counseling provides the opportunity to explore problematic behaviors and patterns through honest, assertive communication with a non-judgmental, trusting third party.
There are four key benefits to working with horses in a therapeutic addiction treatment setting.
- This mode of therapy promotes healthy risk taking by providing immediate cause and effect situations. These, in term, stimulate long-term change.
- EAC builds self-esteem strategies by breaking down defense mechanisms that interfere with growth and development.
- By experiencing a series of non-threatening challenges, clients build personal fear awareness.
- Addiction management is the greatest of these takeaways. Equine-Assisted Counseling promotes the process of moving from unhealthy behavioral and communication patterns to successful ones.
During your Equine-Assisted Counseling experience at New Found Life, you and your peers will be in a situation with multiple moving parts. We understand that many people wish to have a full understanding of what to expect in these addiction treatment sessions.
Our time with the horses is open to those of all experience levels – some of our clients have never touched a horse, while others grew up on farms surrounded by them. Addiction treatment with equine staff is completely different from traditional horseback riding courses. No prior skill is required, and our gatherings are therapeutically-oriented, meaning that they will provide new insight and understanding for even the most seasoned riders. EAC services are provided by Pegasus ECT, founded by Mickey Kay Troxell, PhD, CATC II, CEAC II.
Each session includes opportunities to observe and influence horse behavior in the round pen, stalls, wash rack, grooming stall, on trails, or while turned out. By interacting with the horses in each of these unique settings, clients gain an understanding of non-verbal communication in a nonjudgmental space.
We like to refer to our horses as “the true therapists” in these scenarios. They use their expertise as prey animals to create a safe, soothing learning environment. Our equine staff is specially chosen based on behavior and past performance. There is a distinct difference between a regular horse and a therapy horse; our staff have thoroughly documented each animal’s track record of success and ensured that each animal is properly certified to do its work.
The Equine Specialist
Our well-trained equine specialists have extensive, diverse backgrounds in working with horses, in addition to other documented qualifications. They have been specifically trained to lead these therapy sessions in a way that is conducive to client safety and growth. Their expertise provides unique insight into non-verbal communication and horsemanship safety.
The Mental Health Professional
MHPs work alongside our equine specialist to provide additional therapeutic insight and support throughout each session. Their professional knowledge of human behavior and emotion combines with additional equine-specific training to foster an environment of inner growth in addiction treatment.
Staff Priorities in EAC
- Ensure client and equine safety
- Maintain respect for the area in which we operate
- Provide proper care for all clientele and horses
- Create opportunities for all involved to thrive
New Found Life is a premier rehab facility in Long Beach, CA. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and requires treatment, we encourage you to reach out to us today. Our holistic treatment model promotes the combination of top medical recommendations with cutting-edge therapies, including Equine-Assisted Therapy.