When your teen needs help for mental health or substance abuse problems, therapy plays a significant role in that treatment. One of the most widely revered types of therapy for teens is equine therapy. But what is equine therapy, and what can it do for your teen?
What Is Equine Therapy?
Equine therapy uses horses to help teens heal and experience emotional growth. The horses actually serve as metaphors to life experiences in these therapy sessions. Horses sense human emotions like fear, anxiety, and anger, then react quietly to these emotions. So the goals of this therapy include the teens learning about how horses learn, react, and follow instructions as mirrors to the teens’ own lives.
A certified equine-assisted therapist leads these sessions, as equine therapy in Los Angeles CA requires specialized training and certification. Through the use of horses and by learning from these majestic animals, young people experience breakthroughs in their behavioral problems, mental health problems, as well as substance abuse recovery. An equine therapy program works especially well for trauma, depression, ADHD, anxiety, autism, and other disorders.
Examples of Equine Therapy
An excellent example of equine therapy involves each teen being tasked with getting the horse to move outside of a big circle without touching the animal. Many young people try to use their voices, whistling, clapping, or stomping around to entice the horse to move. The horse reacts to these actions like the teens react to others trying to get them to do things in the same ways, by simply ignoring the noise. So young people learn that patience, connection, trust, and reasoning work best for the horse, just as these methods work best in their own lives.
For another session of equine therapy in Los Angeles CA, the teens learn how to lead the horse. They must work through multiple scenarios before realizing that horses move willingly when accompanied side-by-side with respect.
Does Equine Therapy Work?
As far as results go, what is equine therapy proven to do for teens? Equine therapy Los Angeles CA offers many positive benefits. Of course, these benefits take place when the therapist has the proper training and certifications. But teens generally achieve positive improvements in the course of treatment, including:
- Confidence and self-awareness
- Communication and trust
- Perspective and self-acceptance
- Reduced isolation and social skills
- Impulse control
- Spiritual connection
Of course, equine therapy involves safety measures. Teens wear helmets and appropriate safety gear, just in case someone falls during a session. But the therapy is safe, in that it involves practices like horse care, grooming, horsemanship, and saddlery, as opposed to fast riding or jumping. The horse simply serves as a conduit for learning.
Other Important Therapies for Teens in Woodland Hills, CA
Teens needing help for mental health problems or substance abuse need an array of therapies for positive growth and lasting wellness. These therapies and associated treatment programs include:
- Inpatient, PHP, and IOP programs
- CBT and DBT
- Family treatment
- Mindfulness, yoga, rock therapy, and equine therapy
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Alumni program
If your teen needs help for addiction or mental health problems, Destinations for Teens in Woodland Hills, CA provides all of these programs and therapies. Call Destinations for Teens now at 8774660620 to ask, “What is equine therapy?” Get to know how your teen can learn from horses in treatment and start building a better life.