An advantage of where Integrative Life Center is locaed is that we’re in the heart of horse country. Ranches and farms surround Nashville giving us a resources largely untapped by other facilities–horses. Animal therapy is a proven method for aiding individulas in their recovery from substance use disorder or in improving their mental health. An equine therapy program is one such way to help clients.
Our equine therapy program in Nashville, allows clients to participate in “feet on the ground” interactions with horses. Assisted by both our two-legged and four-legged therapists; clients are able to learn and identify self-confidence, relationship dynamics, and patterns, problem-solving, and teamwork through a variety of experiential exercises. The goal of equine therapy is to help patients develop needed life skills, such as responsibility, self-confidence, accountability, self-control, and problem-solving skills. Safety is a top priority for all participants. Participants often wear helmets and other protective gear should they fall from a horse during a therapeutic session.
What Does Equine Therapy Involve?
An equine therapy program involves activities directly relating to the care of horses, including grooming, feeding, haltering and leading a horse. A trained equine therapist will walk the patient through all these activities, the therapist will observe and interact with the patient in order to identify behavior patterns and process thoughts and emotions. The ability of a therapist to use the horse as a metaphor for other issues helps make the equine treatment applicable to real-life problems. Also, equine therapy is often used as a team-building exercise. Because horses also show interpersonal behavior, they are valuable n family or group therapy. Also, our equine therapy is goal-oriented. Thus, it allows the group to work together to achieve a common goal. This just some of the advantages of Integrative Life Center’s equine therapy program.
Benefits Of Equine Therapy Program
One of the major benefits of equine therapy comes from working with animals. By nature, animals are non-judgmental mirror the attitudes and behaviors of the humans they are working with. This allows clients to feel a deep connection with the animals. Often such openness leads to breakthroughs in treatment and well-being. Clients can focus on building a relationship with a creature who not only doesn’t care about their past but also is only focused on the moment. As clients engage with our horses they not only strengthen and heal, they find themselves developing a relationship and opening themselves up to be more trusting.
We have seen patients who have made strides and shown improvement in the following areas:
- Impulse control
- Problem-solving skills
- Stress tolerance
Success has been found with many conditions including, but not limited to, substance abuse, addiction, behavior disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, learning differences, ADD/ADHD, autism, Asperger’s, grief/loss, trauma, sex addiction, compulsive gambling, bipolar, depression and related conditions.