While not all people who live with mental health problems can benefit from equine therapy, the majority of those trying to achieve positive results. The key advantages of using equine therapy for mental health treatment include:
Sense of Peace
Many patients who struggle with mental health issues, especially the consequences of trauma and PTSD have a hard time opening up to another person. No matter how experienced a therapist is, they may not always achieve the desired treatment goals.
When a horse participates in therapy, people can be more willing to open up. The sense of peace, relaxation, and safety that horses can create allows a person to share their thoughts with a specialist and move the therapy session forward.
Horses are highly sensitive animals. They easily pick up on the emotions of people around them. When a person spends a lot of time with therapeutic horsemanship, they create a special connection. When this happens, a horse can mirror a patient’s feelings.
When working with a horse, a person can receive unbiased feedback about their condition and understand the importance of addressing it. This helps foster a sense of self-awareness and allows the patient to become more open to treatment.
The setting of an individual therapy session can be highly important to a patient with mental health problems. The stigma associated with mental health treatment is still a serious issue for many people. That’s why going to a therapist’s office may prove to be a challenge.
Equine therapy creates a positive environment for the patients. An informal setting can be highly beneficial for a person who has trouble relaxing in a doctor’s office.
Working with horses requires the veteran to pay close attention to the animal’s reactions. If a person wants to connect with the horse, they must practice interpersonal skills. For people who experienced trauma, regaining these skills is a big step toward recovery.