Traditional approaches to addiction recovery – such as therapy – can be life changing, but sometimes it’s even more beneficial to combine these types of approaches with more holistic strategies that ignite our senses. Being outdoors, for example, can help ground us and remind us of the very real, vulnerable nature of being a human being. Furthermore, animals can be incredibly therapeutic – giving us the time and space we need to explore a side of us that perhaps we’d never really opened ourselves up to.
What is Equine Assisted Therapy?
Equine assisted therapy actively involves horses in the process of healing and restoration – and it could be through riding, grooming, cleaning and more. The Certified Horsemanship Association has emphasized the limitless possibilities of this type of treatment modality, not only limited to those in addiction recovery but also for some of the following concerns:
- At-risk youth
- Leadership training
- Victims of abuse or trauma
- Those with psychological concerns
- And more
In 2016, researchers from Norway published a study in the journal Substance Abuse which sought to explore the benefits of equine assisted therapy on those recovery from a substance use disorder (SUD). They found that horses gave clients a sense of acceptance – and more “positive” self identity grew from these experiences. A sense of security and a stabilization often comes from interaction with horses as well; one participant stated, “When I come down to the stable, there’s no talk of drugs, or thoughts about drugs at all, it’s just to focus on the horses and how the day in there will be, in the stable…That makes me calm down, feel secure with…the horses, [and] I want to be there even more.”
The loving-kindness and compassion provided by horses can bring so many positive feelings to a person. If you’re ready to embrace this beautiful, therapeutic technique, along with others, speak with a professional from The Arbor today.
Arbor Behavioral Healthcare offers an integrative and holistic approach to treat substance abuse and a wide variety of addictions, as well as underlying mental health and psychological issues. All of the addiction recovery programs offered by The Arbor are designed to heal the mind, body, and spirit leading to a lifetime of sobriety, health and wellness. If you’re ready to find healing and restoration in a peaceful, loving environment, please call us today at 844-560-7269.
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