25 Oct Equine Therapy
Addiction is a multilayered problem that can cause many facets of damage. Different types of therapy can help individuals overcome various obstacles. Many rehabilitation programs incorporate equine therapy, where a person spends time working with horses to develop social skills and self-confidence. Equine therapy has been shown to be very beneficial for those recovering from addiction.
Develops Social Skills
Caring for others is a key element of addiction recovery because it helps the individual to focus outside of themselves and their addiction and concentrate on the needs of someone else. Honing this skill can be particularly difficult for those who have a difficult time relating to or being close to other people. Addiction is an isolating disease and many people have a degeneration of social skills because of it. Equine therapy can help bridge this gap and allow individuals to build a foundation for these skills because they can first form a bond with the horse rather than people.
Working with horses is less emotionally intimidating than bonding with people because the horse has no expectations or prior knowledge of the person. They are unable to pass judgment and present a neutral space for healing and growth. Additionally, a horse can mirror the mood of its caretaker so individuals in equine therapy learn how to control their emotions when working with others. As the client develops patience and trust with the horse, they learn how to build relationships in all of life’s situations.
Struggling with addiction can be a hard blow to a person’s confidence and self-esteem. They may not be able to trust themselves to make sound decisions and probably don’t know where to start the rebuilding process. They may feel worthless and unworthy to participate in life. The feelings of failure can be daunting in the face of recovery, but a little success can provide a lot of motivation. Equine therapy gives individuals the opportunity to construct a healthy relationship and properly care for another creature, thus boosting their self-confidence.
Even if clients feel a little hesitant or even fearful when they first begin working with the horses, their self-esteem will improve as they find that they are able to forge a bond with these majestic creatures. The non-verbal communication that takes place when working with horses can help a person engage in thoughtful introspection. They can begin to better understand their place in the world and how they relate to others. They can begin to get in touch with their own strengths and weaknesses, which will aid in their recovery. Additionally, equine therapy gives individuals something fun and interesting as an option to replace addictive behaviors.