Overcoming addiction requires more than just a singular, clinical approach to wellness. Effective addiction treatment comes in many forms and is often most effective when multiple modes of therapy are used. Often, strategies like an equine therapy program can be a great way to improve health and make progress on the road to recovery.
Many proven, effective treatments are well-known, such as 12-step programs, behavioral therapies, cognitive approaches, and life skills training. When employed by trained, experienced professionals, they provide a path towards recovery and sobriety. However, there are additional proven therapies that take a more holistic approach to wellness.
Art therapy, massage therapy, yoga, and meditation, for example, are all legitimate and proven forms of addiction treatment. What is equine therapy exactly? And why is it so beneficial? Let’s take a closer look at the advantages that equine therapy in Texas has to offer. The truth is that it can help immensely during recovery.
What is Equine Therapy?
Before exploring the benefits the equine therapy rehab centers in Texas can provide, it is worth answering the question, “What is equine therapy?” Officially known as equine-assisted psychotherapy, or EAP, it’s a type of therapy that involves the use of horses. More specifically, it’s a therapy where participants care for horses, thereby developing relationships with the animals. Participants build a routine around the care of the horse. Through that structured routine, they work through issues related to their substance use disorder.
This form of therapy is a definite process, and it takes time. It is not something that can begin and end in an hour. Instead, clients develop bonds with horses and establish regular patterns of behavior. For example, clients might brush the same horse daily, and once they are comfortable with the animal, they may also be responsible for feeding it.
Horses are quiet, dignified and graceful creatures. As people who are always around horses can tell you, their signs of affection are subtle, yet rewarding. Therefore, the growing bond with the horse and responsibility of caring for the animal opens up therapeutic avenues for the client, such as communicative recovery exercises.
The Benefits of Equine Therapy in Texas
One of the best things about this program is that most people like horses on some level. Simply being around domesticated animals can generate positive emotions, and equine therapy is linked to improving mood and reducing the need for depression treatment during rehab.
The therapy may also improve a person’s self-esteem. Repetitive tasks that add value may seem simple, but they show clients that their actions have merit and help other living things. Repeating the same tasks also makes clients good at them, which can be a much-needed boost of confidence in a tough time of life. Because equine therapy is a process, it allows all participants to progress at their own pace and comfort level, and their actions directly benefit a living creature.
In addition, not only do most people enjoy horses, but they also enjoy the chance to connect with a living creature that is not going to pass judgment or criticism allows for emotional growth and increases self-esteem. In fact, many horse owners talk to their horses as they groom them. Sometimes, their intention is merely to calm the horse and put it in a good mood. What they may not realize, however, is that they are likely calming themselves and putting themselves in a good mood in the process. That is most definitely an aspect of equine therapy.
Using This Therapy to Establish Healthy Relationships
You will almost certainly realize that this is a program that can help clients form healthier relationships. Equine therapy shows that clients have things of value to share. It teaches clients about establishing boundaries and about the need for regular, daily commitment. In short, it allows clients to form a simple relationship, learn great habits and then transition to bigger and better relationships in the future.
Supplementing Equine Therapy Texas Offers at Santé Center for Healing
Equine therapy is just one aspect of a comprehensive recovery strategy available at the Santé Center for Healing. In addition to this therapy, clients can look forward to all of the following therapies and treatment methods:
- Family therapy
- Experiential therapy
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Trauma therapy
- Group therapy
There is no question that this can be an excellent strategy in the fight to overcome a drug or alcohol addiction. At Santé Center for Healing in Argyle, Texas, the benefits of equine-assisted therapy are just part of a comprehensive treatment program. In fact, there are many treatment options that can help you fight back against addiction. Call 866.238.3154 to learn more today.