Each facility and program you consider for your daughter’s recovery will have different therapies that they offer. Understanding and researching the goals and benefits of each therapy is important in choosing the right program for your daughter. One effective therapy, offered at Clearview Girls Academy, is equine therapy. This therapy helps girls learn skills that can assist them during each stage of their recovery. The benefits of equine therapy are many, including strengthened communication skills that girls can employ in other areas of their lives. In short, equine therapy helps girls begin to take charge of their mental health journey.
Equine therapy consists of facilitated interactions between horses and humans to improve health and well-being. This subtle, nonverbal bond formed with horses can be healing for those seeking to restore a sense of connectedness with others. This type of therapy is also known to help girls find the strength to open themselves up and become more vulnerable. Equine therapy can also help girls develop self-confidence as they learn to care for an animal and in turn care for themselves. As girls develop confidence and learn new skills, these strengths can follow them through their recovery journey.
Because our Clearview Girls Academy facility is located in Montana, we offer this therapy in a setting surrounded by the beauty of nature. The setting itself helps facilitate healing in our students.
The Benefits of Equine Therapy for Recovery
Horses and domesticated animals have been used to assist in human health and recovery for hundreds of years. According to the journal Nursing Open, a variety of studies have demonstrated the benefits and healing properties of working with horses.
Clearview Girls Academy offers equine therapy that is often monitored by a mental health professional and an equine specialist. The therapy can facilitate many positive outcomes for people, including:
- Increased trust in others
- Greater empathy
- Improved stress tolerance
- Increased confidence
- Better impulse control
- Strengthened problem-solving skills
- Greater independence
- Enhanced interpersonal relationships
Working with these animals can help our students develop various skills. Horses are naturally accepting and caring as creatures, and working with them provides relief. Equine therapists help people have difficult conversations about their patterns while also learning various horse-caring behaviors. A person may work on grooming or saddling while working alongside a therapist to address their mental, emotional, or behavioral health concerns. This distraction while working with animals in the outdoors can allow for breakthroughs in healing.
Benefits of Equine Therapy: Calm and Self-Confidence
Working with the horses provides a calming way to interact and socialize with other beings. Often people find relaxation and enjoyment in working with these animals. The skills and insights gained in equine therapy can assist your daughter through each stage of recovery from mental health. These are skills she can apply to all areas of her life for long-term healing.
While working with horses, teens come to understand more about their strengths and positive qualities. Riding and caring for the horses allows them to see that they are strong and capable. This can encourage them to make changes in their lives. Confidence is an important part of recovery, because without it, someone may not take the reigns of their journey. The confidence someone gains while experiencing the benefits of equine therapy will allow them to take an active part in their therapy. This confidence may also make them feel safer opening up to the professionals who work alongside them.
An article posted on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website explains how the benefits of equine therapy were evident for groups of veterans at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center, many of whom struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Participants stated that being around horses in treatment settings created a sense of peace, greater self-awareness, and comfort with boundary-setting. These veterans learned better emotional control as a result of equine therapy, as the horses would mimic their emotions and body language.
Practicing mindfulness in this way allowed the veterans to learn improved control of their own emotions and body language. These emotional skills can be used in the recovery journey. The animals help people gain emotional control and empathy, which they can begin to demonstrate in other areas of their lives.
Skills Learned for Long-Term Recovery
All of these skills can help girls during treatment and long-term recovery. Recovery is a process that can take a lot of work and energy. Recovering from life-controlling choices or behavioral issues requires working on the underlying issues. Working in therapy can feel overwhelming for someone who is struggling a lot. Sometimes an alternative approach to standard talk therapy, such as equine therapy, can help.
Equine therapy can help girls make big changes in their lives. Increased self-confidence helps girls to take control of what is happening but also allows them to feel pride when they are doing better. This in turn encourages them to work toward lifetime recovery and avoid relapse. Being more emotionally in tune and empathic allows for someone to know when they need to reach out for help. It can also help someone rebuild those connections they may have lost along the way.
Here at Clearview Girls Academy, girls can heal alongside nature and horses. Equine therapy teaches girls to take responsibility for others as well as care for themselves. These skills are integral to recovering from issues that may have brought your daughter to treatment. Taking care of herself is just one step, but learning to care for others will help her develop increased empathy and create better long-term success. Equine therapy has many benefits, including improved communication skills, and is used all over the country for treating at-risk teens. If your daughter is struggling and could benefit from a novel therapeutic intervention, equine therapy may help. Contact Clearview Girls Academy at (888) 796-5484 today to learn more.