Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is a professional, innovative, and experiential approach to counselling, psychotherapy or psychological services offered by a registered and insured professional in a natural setting, alongside horses. EAP supports clients of all ages in addressing mental health difficulties as well as emotional, cognitive, behavioural, relational and spiritual issues. Horses are the assistants, co-facilitators and teachers in this process.
The focus of the work is supporting the client’s regulation (relaxation), new awareness and healthy relationship skills via therapeutic goals clients have identified. Clients are offered safe experiences with the horse for the purpose of exploring self, relationships, self-awareness, and an awareness of habits and patterns. The work tends to be quiet and reflective for many clients and for other clients can include safe and fun ways of learning about being in a therapeutic relationship and space.
Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is based on the principles of experiential learning. Clients are offered safe experiences with horses for the purpose of learning a range of social-emotional skills, personal development, and professional development skills (e.g. leadership and team building).
The equine experience may include observations of horses, meeting horses at liberty, leading experiences, grooming, obstacle challenges, and mounted experience. All Equine Assisted Psychotherapy is supervised, contained and the focus of the work is to support both the client and horses to learn safely together.