Equine therapy for trauma has become increasingly more popular in recent years. The benefits of this form of therapy are far-reaching in that it helps those who struggle with trauma and grief to process their feelings and emotions. Horses are sensitive to human emotions, and mirror them. Thus, humans can feel safe and vulnerable connecting with them.
What is equine therapy and how does it help? Well, understanding the answers to these 2 questions can help an individual to receive care. This therapy could potentially create a sense of peace in their life, through processing and healing from grief and trauma.
The National Library of Medicine notes tor approximately the last 60 years, horses have been integrated into therapy to promote healing. This therapy uses horses to help those who struggle with mental health conditions such as grief, depression and trauma to heal.
The success of this therapy is partly due to the calm and enjoyable manner of horses, and their ability to absorb human emotion. This form of therapy helps with building relationships, trust and communication by using horses to help to strengthen and build these skills.
Trauma affects the lives of just about every person in the country. Whether it be the sudden loss of a loved one, a car accident or prolonged abuse, trauma can cause changes in a person that they may not know have happened. However, when trauma affects a person, it can be life-altering. Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, can be triggered by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic or terrifying event. Symptoms such as flashbacks and nightmares can occur and result in profound fears of certain events. Receiving proper care is essential for healing.
In equine therapy, the communication between the person and the horse is non-verbal. They build a trusting and loving relationship, and this helps a person to begin implementing the same skills into their lives. Experience with horses is not necessary to participate in equine therapy for trauma. Healing grief and trauma can help to ensure a person’s life can return to normal ans they learn from the impacts of the traumatic events.
The benefits of equine therapy for trauma can be life-changing. Those who participate in this form of therapy in conjunction with therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT,) or dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) can not only learn to build up relationships and communication skills, but also learn new ways of thinking and ways of converting the negative thoughts and behaviors into positive ones.
Horses have a keen sensitivity to feeling, and due to this the immediate feedback that a person can get from a horse during equine therapy for trauma can benefit them. The response from the horse can help a person to see and identify feelings that they may not be aware of. This allows the client to cope with these feelings in the future should they arise.
Another benefit of equine therapy for trauma is building trust. The relationship between a horse and a handler is one of immense trust. This form of therapy helps individuals who may not be comfortable with traditional therapy to build the trust they need in order to learn and develop new communication skills.
Those who experience grief and trauma often struggle with developing relationships. This could be due to the sudden loss of a loved one, or unhealthy past relationships whether romantic or familial. Horses are non-judgmental, and offer a safe space to build a new relationship that is healthy and loving. This relationship can assist in building confidence, trust, and communication within a relationship.
Although the communication may be non-verbal, it is still there. Learning to communicate in healthy ways can help to promote healthy verbal communication within a person’s relationships. Participation in equine therapy for trauma can help an individual to learn ways of building and maintaining bonds with others in a healthy and loving manner that can promote the continuance of these relationships long term.
Healing is essential for a life beyond trauma and grief. Participating in equine therapy for trauma can help promote the necessary healing, and new life skills, so a person can recover from traumas and grief. Building a loving and healthy relationship with these beautiful and loving animals can help a person learn to trust again, and trust is essential in any relationship.
Trauma and grief can cause a person to lose all sense of self, the relationship with these animals can be the catalyst to growing self confidence and awareness so that a person can begin to recover from the experiences of grief and trauma. Recovery is possible, and equine therapy can help.
Equine therapy can be beneficial to the treatment of a range of mental health disorders. This can include grief and trauma. Anyone who has experienced trauma or the loss of a loved one can attest to the difficulty of these situations and coping with them.
Having a positive outlet is essential to recovery, and Empowered Recovery Center can help. At Empowered, we offer a range of therapeutic opportunities including equine therapy to treat the symptoms of grief and trauma.
If you or a loved one are struggling, call us today.
Contact our team to find out how we can help you