Horse Assisted Therapy Covers a Lot of Ground
Just as barns are built one plank at a time, developing coping skills and tackling mental health issues have to be addressed, one-by-one. As each small goal is met, clients get one step closer to learning to cope with prowess, instead of fear.
Equine therapy assists clients and staff members in defining the personal areas that are most immediately in need of being targeted by a client in treatment. From anger to resistance and defiance, clients learn a lot about how they communicate with other people, within the first 10 minutes of being with their horse.
The beauty of this is that Clients learn how to calm themselves, despite fears and hesitations, and start to regain confidence in naturally regulating their moods, regardless of surroundings, as they work with their animal. In a way, the horse work is symbolic of the day to day work and relationships that await clients back at home.
The journey from addiction to recovery is a time of important personal growth and reflection. Effective therapy requires support, education, and counseling. Getting clients to understand how all of these things fit together in “real life” situations, is key to long-term success in addiction recovery.
A lifestyle of recovery is about developing life-skills and grounded external connections that will not only improve quality of life now, but empower for a lifetime.
Sometimes this growth and change, although worked diligently for, can be difficult for clients to see and accept in the early stages of recovery, but increasing confidence is key, and the horses cover a lot of ground here too!
As client’s heal throughout treatment, the subtle successes are most visible to them in the differences that they experience while working with the horses. From combating bad moods, to safely negotiating power struggles; horses allow clients to work out struggles with self-care, responsibility, and accountability without the same degree of difficulty that they often have with other human beings. This is where trust is re-born in recovery.
In order to believe that they CAN recover, client’s need more than simply flushing their system of substances. Positive reinforcement is key to overcoming obstacles and achieving the cognitive and behavioral results that make recovery possible.
Client’s bring everything that they’ve learn in counseling and education groups down to the barn and learn how to put it to use. Tenacity, resilience, and compromise are just a few of the benefits to be found.
Working with horses provides a range of physical, occupational, and recreational therapy outlets that give clients the opportunity to gain positive behavioral skills and attain greater emotional growth in a meaningful way.
For client’s experiencing difficulties coping with ADHD, anxiety, depression, or PTSD our equine assisted therapy program offers exponential benefits that target dual diagnosis as well, as part of our comprehensive addiction treatment models.
At Tiger Mountain Recovery, we believe in treatment that allows you to look towards with excitement and confidence.
Recovery IS Possible!
Meg Glidden, MS, NCC
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