Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP)
Learning to develop a safe and mutually respectful relationship with an animal can offer deep personal growth as we work subtly, slowly through body language and energetic signals. Relationship building in this way can support your emotional, social, developmental, physical and cognitive well-being, inform how you relate to others, as well as supporting the well-being of the animal. Building a connection with animals may also help foster a connection to your own sense of being part of nature, and can be a link to the spiritual or mystical sense of self.
Like us, horses are social creatures, and depend on their herd for survival, leadership and companionship. However, as prey animals they also demonstrate an ever-present alertness, which provides us with immediate and observable feedback. This trait also creates the necessity for us to build trust with them as a first step in our work together. (Sound familiar?) Horses offer us unique opportunities to observe social behaviors within the herd, as well as to discover our own personal experience learning to communicate and interact safely with these large, sensitive, powerful and beautiful creatures.
What does Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy with Adriel look like?
As a form of experiential psychotherapy, we collaborate to create therapeutic goals that inform the nature of our work together. Our sessions include horse/s as co-therapist, and are unmounted (not riding), often without tack which allows the horse to have more choice with activities. The activities we do are mutually respectful and often include observing, grooming, handling and ground work.
• Scientists Study Horse, Human Heart Coupling. TheHorse.com, November 2, 2017.
• How Horses Help With Mental Health. OfHorse.com, January 14, 2019.