A Better Today

Equine
Therapy

How Does Equine Therapy Help Overcome Drug & Alcohol Addiction?

A Better Today Recovery Services understands that active addiction affects people differently. Many have traumatic experiences involving others that instantly spark mistrust and defensive behaviors when interacting with people. Opening up or really feeling comfortable enough to discuss personal trauma’s and issue can be difficult for those same people, even if talking with a licensed professional. This is why ABTRS offers equine therapy in our drug and alcohol treatment plan. Working with animals like horses allow our patients a different method of treatment that encourages healing .

Equine-assisted Therapy is a holistic approach to substance abuse treatment. Studying the behaviors and interacting with horses can provide insight that can help overcome addiction or emotional issues that can be detrimental to living a happy and healthy life. EAT is based on interacting with the horses to encourage emotional healing and personal growth. Many people who own pets can attest to the moments of clarity and happiness that come by interacting with animals. Developing a bond with an animal helps teach the value of healthy relationships and personal growth, and a horse, due to its behaviors being similar to a human’s, can help in that healing and growth.

Offering a variety of treatment methods that promote healing the mind, body, and soul is what makes A Better Today Recovery Service’s quality of care stand out.

How Does Equine Therapy Work?

Equine-assisted Therapy is a common treatment method that uses horses to help promote emotional growth for mood, behavior, or substance abuse disorders. Qualified therapists utilize EAT for numerous mental and genetic disorders, such as:

ADD | Anxiety Disorders | Drug & Alcohol Addiction | Mental Health Disorders
Dementia | Genetic Disorders |Down Syndrome | Autism
Brain Injuries | Mood Disorders | Depression | Psychological Trauma

Developing bonds with this animal that provides unconditional acceptance promotes personal healing and spiritual growth. By petting, brushing and feeding these majestic horses, the fresh air and peace of mind provides a safe place to work through issues and plan for a positive future. ABTRS respects our patient’s needs for equine therapy and are proud to provide the opportunity.

Why Use Horses for Therapy?

Horses are the most popularly used animal for therapy alongside cats and dogs. Due to the horse’s ability to respond immediately and give feedback to a person’s action or behavior makes this animal suitable for mood and substance abuse disorders. The foundation of this therapy is that because horses behave similarly like human beings do, it is always easy for patients to establish a connection and build a healthy relationship.

ABTRS’s Therapeutic Benefits of Offering Equine Therapy

Addiction effects many people differently; in the thralls of active addiction many have experienced bad trips or overdoses that have left a long-lasting effect on the way the brain functions. LSD, antipsychotics and many other drugs can influence cognitive, psycho-motor and socially acceptable behaviors. Many of those people have utilized equine therapy and have experience positive results.

Equine therapy provides patients with a safe environment that doesn’t make it seem as though one is in therapy. Safe environments, whether in an office or outside petting a horse, gives a person time to reflect, grow or assess issues or raw emotions that can leave one feeling shame or regret. Therapists have noticed positive changes in:

  • Building a sense of self-worth
  • Improving communication
  • Building trust and self-efficiency with therapist or self
  • Developing socialization skills and decreasing isolating behaviors
  • Learning to respect and establish limits or boundaries
  • Equine therapeutic activities

What are the equine-related activities for therapeutic purposes?

Many patients may feel intimidated by the horse’s size and features making riding the horses not a part of the therapy. Therapy programs are lessons on horse care, horse grooming, forcing more on relationships and temperance of emotions. In all equine lessons, safety is the primary concern for both the patient and the horse.

Other Treatment Methods Utilized by ABTRS

Call for ABTRS’s Equine Therapy Locations

How does ABTRS Utilize Equine Therapy for Their Drug & Alcohol Treatment Facilities?

While attending equine therapy, patients interact with the horses while enjoying the beautiful Arizona weather. Drugs and alcohol tend to isolate people, discouraging simple pleasures. A safe environment that encourages finding a peace of mind can help encourage a spark for life that drugs and alcohol rob from people.

Graduated patients have expressed how difficult it is to communicate to people when  first getting sober, finding that they are easily irritated when trying to express themselves. Equine therapy helps in finding the ability to safely express oneself, and offering our patients this opportunity is just another way ABTRS’s treatment center raises the bar in quality of care for drug and alcohol treatment.

ABT’s Patient Privilege Reward System

A Better Today Recovery Service’s equine therapy is a popular choice for our unique patient-driven privilege system. Setting achievable goals in rehab improves a patient’s mood and offers motivation to achieve greatness. By completing lessons and course work, A Better Today Recovery Service’s patients can achieve different rewards ranging from backpacks to equine therapy.

We motivate our patients and offer incentives that encourages progress in treatment that one can achieve as their attitude improves. Rewards like equine therapy and tension releasing massages enhances their  treatment experience.

Barker SB. Therapeutic Aspects of the Human-Companion Animal Interaction.
Psychiatric Times 1999;XVI (2).

McCormick A, McCormick M. Horse Sense and the Human Heart: What Horses Can
Teach Us About Trust, Bonding, Creativity and Spirituality. Deerfield Beach, Florida:
Health Communications, Inc. 1997.

Hilde Hauge, Ingela L. Kvalem, Bente Berget, Marie-José Enders-Slegers, and Bjarne O. Braastad. Equine-assisted activities and the impact on perceived social support, self-esteem and self-efficacy among adolescents – an intervention study (2014). _International Journal of Adolescence and Youth_ Vol. 19 , Iss. 1

Hauge, H., Kvalem, I. L., Berget, B., Enders-Slegers, M.-J., & Braastad, B. O. (2014). Equine-assisted activities and the impact on perceived social support, self-esteem and self-efficacy among adolescents – an intervention study. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 19(1), 1–21. http://doi.org/10.1080/02673843.2013.779587

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