Did you know that horses can be used as therapy for alcoholics? It’s true! Horses are incredibly intuitive animals and can pick up on the emotions of the people around them. This makes them perfect for use in equine therapy, a growing trend in the treatment of alcoholism.
This post will explore equine therapy and how it can help alcoholics get sober. So if you’re curious to learn more, keep reading!
What is Equine Therapy?
Equine therapy, also known as equine-assisted psychotherapy, is a form of therapy that uses horses to help people heal from psychological or emotional trauma.
The therapist works with the horse to help the client achieve their goals and may use the horse for activities such as grooming, riding, or doing chores. It can be a fun and rewarding experience for both the patient and the therapist.
Where is Equine Therapy Used?
Equine therapy can help people by providing a sense of responsibility, helping with social skills, and increasing self-esteem. It can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Violence in mental illness
The treatment is typically provided by a team of professionals, including a therapist, an equine specialist, and a volunteer.
During the therapy, clients will participate in activities with the horse, such as grooming or leading the animal around. These activities can help people build trust, develop new skills, and manage emotions.
How Can Equine Therapy Help Alcoholics Recover From Their Addiction?
Equine therapy is suitable for an alcoholic because it:
Helps Patients Develop A Sense of Purpose
Equine therapy help alcoholics recover from their addiction by giving them a sense of purpose. Alcoholics often feel lost and without direction in their lives. Equine therapy helps them reconnect with their inner selves and find a new sense of purpose.
Helps Patients Develop A Sense of Responsibility
Equine therapy help patients develop a healthy relationship with horses and learn how to care for them. This experience can help patients develop a sense of responsibility and build self-esteem. Caring for a horse can help patients feel needed and appreciated, which can help them to overcome their addiction.
The therapist builds a trusting relationship with the patient and the horse, which help the patient to feel more comfortable opening up about their struggles with addiction.
Improves Cognitive Skills
Horses are known to be sensitive animals and react like humans when they feel hurt. The therapist will use this quality for an alcoholic to learn about their own actions by noticing how the horse reacts after specific interactions.
Horses also offer instant feedback, unlike other relationships where people may lie or cover up emotions or actions, nor will horses enable poor choices and decisions.
The Advantages of Equine Therapy Over Traditional Rehab Programs
Equine therapy has many advantages over traditional rehab programs. It should be considered a treatment option for those struggling with alcoholism, addiction, and other forms of emotional or mental illness. These include:
- Cost: Equine therapy is less expensive than traditional therapies.
- Accessibility: Equine therapy is more accessible, as it can be done in any location with a horse.
- Customized: Equine therapy can be tailored to the specific needs of each individual.
- Versatility: Equine therapy can be used in conjunction with other therapies to create a more comprehensive treatment plan.
- Hone Physical Skills: Equine therapy can improve physical health while having fun.
The Cost of Equine Therapy
The cost of equine therapy can vary depending on several factors, including:
- Type of therapy being provided
- Length of the session
Generally speaking, equine therapy sessions last for around an hour and cost between $50 and $100. Some therapeutic riding centers may also require membership fees or equipment rental fees.
However, many insurance plans will cover the cost of equine therapy, so it is always worth checking with your provider to see if you are eligible for coverage.
Overall, equine therapy costs are generally quite reasonable, especially compared to other forms of treatment. And more importantly, it can provide lasting benefits for those struggling with physical or mental health issues.
Other Forms of Treatment for Alcoholics
Aside from equine therapy, there are many other forms of treatment for alcoholics. These include:
- Detoxification: This is the first step in treatment and involves ridding the body of toxins. Detox can be done on an inpatient or outpatient basis, depending on the severity of the addiction.
- Rehabilitation: This step focuses on helping the individual understand their addiction and teaching them how to live a sober life. Rehab can be done in an outpatient or inpatient
- Sober living homes: These homes provide a structured and supportive environment for recovering addicts. Residents are typically required to follow certain rules, such as abstaining from drug use, attending 12-step meetings, and completing chores.
- 12-step programs: These programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, help recovering addicts by providing support and fellowship. Members attend meetings and work through the 12 steps with a sponsor.
How to Find An Equine Therapy Program That’s Right For You
Equine therapy can be very beneficial, but finding the right program is important. Here are some things to consider when looking for an equine therapy program:
- What are the qualifications of the therapists? Do they have experience working with mental health issues?
- What is the ratio of therapists to clients? You want to make sure you’re getting individualized attention.
- How often do sessions take place? You want to make sure the program fits into your schedule.
- What is the cost of the program? You want to make sure you can afford it.
- Is the program welcoming and inclusive? You want to feel comfortable and safe in the program.
Take some time to research different programs and talk to people who have gone through equine therapy. Once you find a program that feels right for you, you’ll be on your way to healing.
Alcoholism is a severe problem that can have devastating consequences for the alcoholic and their loved ones. But while there is no easy solution, equine therapy may offer new hope for those struggling with addiction.
Also known as equine-assisted therapy, this treatment uses horses to help patients overcome their challenges. Patients can learn to trust and build relationships with the horses through grooming and riding.
These experiences can then be applied to relationships with others, helping patients break down the barriers preventing them from living healthy, fulfilling lives.
While more research is needed to understand equine therapy’s efficacy fully, it has already shown promise as a potential treatment for alcoholism. It may be worth exploring this unique and potentially life-changing treatment option for anyone struggling with addiction.