At The Raleigh House, we embrace nontraditional yet evidence-based approaches to recovery. Equine-assisted psychotherapy offers a highly effective therapeutic solution, allowing clients to benefit from horses’ natural herd dynamics and sensitivity to nuanced physical impulses. Interaction with horses in a controlled, safe setting helps guests achieve a level of self-knowledge they might not have previously experienced. This can be a powerful healing tool.
Along with other specialized therapy programs, we offer equine-assisted psychotherapy on our 40-acre Colorado wellness lodge. Our clients are encouraged to participate in this immersive intervention under the guidance of a licensed therapist and handler.
Horses possess a natural capacity to recognize even subtle stress signals in humans and animals. When a horse senses hesitation or anxiety, that horse will respond directly and empathetically. This helps the client and the handler address the underlying feelings surrounding a particular action, memory, or experience.
We offer two categories of equine-assisted psychotherapy.
During EAGALA sessions, guests work with horses and their trained handlers on the ground — no riding. Through the horse/client interaction, the client and therapist can identify underpinning emotions and reactions through the horse’s responses.
Equine-assisted psychotherapy helps clients reduce anxiety and externalize their focus. The act of caring for an animal — or even being in proximity to an animal — can help foster feelings of trust and security by creating an emotional bond.
Through our therapist-guided treatment, clients are allowed to explore deep-seated emotions in a safe, structured environment. The service animals enable clients to process complex feelings without requiring them to articulate their struggles before they are ready.
Studies have shown that clients experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health challenges benefit from engaging with horses, ultimately enhancing their self-awareness and becoming more comfortable within a group setting.
The benefits of animal-assisted therapy include:
At The Raleigh House, we view animal-assisted therapy as a highly beneficial intervention for people struggling with substance use disorder with co-occurring mental health challenges. Our comprehensive approach to addiction recovery allows clients of all backgrounds to discover the most effective paths to sobriety. When you’re ready, we’re here to help.
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