Pet therapy has many proven physical, mental, and emotional benefits for those in addiction treatment and recovery. One longstanding form of animal-assisted therapy is equine therapy. Equine therapy was originally used as a treatment for people with physical disabilities and developmental disorders and has been successfully used to treat psychological issues like depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. It has also proved to help people recovering from addiction as well.
Equine therapy is less about riding horses and more about individuals learning about themselves through working with them. Horses are used for therapy because they have clear boundaries and no hidden agenda. They know their needs and refuse to be bullied. Thus, these powerful creatures mirror human feelings, and people can take those cues to better understand themselves, ultimately overcoming certain fears and frustrations through therapy. The goal of equine therapy is that individuals will take what they learn by working with the horse and translate it to their relationships—both with loved ones and with themselves.
Another great aspect of equine therapy is it gives people in treatment the opportunity to get outside of themselves. Because rehab poses many challenges and changes, it is easy for individuals to get stuck inside their heads. However, working with horses forces them to be aware of and care for another being, which is proven to decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety while teaching responsibility and promoting self-confidence and self-esteem. These intelligent, beautiful, and insightful animals have the ability to unlock emotions and confidence in people who have stopped believing in themselves.
If you or a loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, call us today at (888) 507-1355. Speak with one of our trained treatment specialists for more information on equine therapy, pet therapy, or to receive a free, confidential assessment to determine the best path to recovery for you.
“Ride softly, listen carefully, and love completely.”