One of our most enjoyed evidence-based treatment activities is our twice weekly Equine-Assisted Therapy Program. This therapy regimen makes use of horses to help promote emotional growth in our clients and is a great tool for helping those suffering from not only addiction but ADD, ADHD, anxiety, depression, PTSD and other mental and physical abuse issues.
Horses are very social animals and have distinct personalities, attitudes, and moods. Just like people, learning how to interact and communicate with each horse is different. An approach that works for one horse won’t necessarily work with another. Horses are a lot like us socially – when we work on our relationships with them, we in turn are learning how to improve our relationships with others.
Shannette Keeler, LCSW, and Danna Russell, LCSW, make up our Equine Therapy Team. Shannette is an Advanced Certified EAGALA Equine Psychotherapist with over 30 years of clinical experience. Danna is an equine therapy specialist who has worked for over seven years in the field, primarily with clients suffering from addiction and substance abuse.
“I have had many ‘talk therapies’ in my life, but this was totally different and very powerful – I could step away from my usual intellectualizing and just be and maybe it was this that enabled me to gain so much insight and to really ‘cut through’ stuff. This therapy has really changed things for me. I have noticed less fear and more inner stability.” (client with history of domestic violence and mental health diagnosis, after six one-hour EAGALA sessions).