So what is Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)?
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning. It is a collaborative effort between the client/s, horse and practitioner. At Gippsland Equine we practice the Equine Psychotherapy Institute Model, which is a unique and comprehensive psychotherapy model with it’s own theory, principles, and practice methodology in line with best practice therapy. It is an Australian model that is relational, ethical, mindful, trauma-informed, effective, deeply respectful of clients and horses, and is founded on psychological and psychotherapeutic theory and practice. The model draws from gestalt therapy, mindfulness-based therapy, Buddhist psychotherapy, and somatic experiencing (somatic trauma practice).
The focus of EAP, as in room-based psychotherapy, is to support and explore change. EAP is an approach to mental health and wellness that supports clients of all ages with horses as assistants, co-facilitators and teachers in this process.
EAP has been found to be an effective treatment for children, adolescents, and adults including:
• Depression and anxiety
• Difficult behaviours
• Children and adolescents ‘at risk’ with maladaptive behaviours
• Disruptive behaviours
• Adolescents with depression, anxiety and low esteem.
Some studies indicating significant improvements for adults include:
• Unresolved grief
• Depression, anxiety and social disorders
• Eating disorders
• Couples therapy
• Post Trauma Stress Disorder
Practitioners must have a Mental Health Qualification and be EAP certified to deliver this.