With regards to Equine Assisted Therapy I will be honest, I am starting this post as a beginner. My exposure level to the treatment approach is minimal, so I was definitely looking forward to researching for this post!
I decided to begin my journey in this specific subject area by starting straight at the source – the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association.
The EAGALA model is a specific psychotherapy treatment model aimed to help those suffering from trauma, behavioral issues, addiction, depression or relationship based challenges. They have a specific certification process for local treatment providers throughout the United States.
See the video below directly from their site about how Equine therapy works.
But is it effective? The verdict is still out – as there have been limited research studies available. However, I found an excellent article featured in Psych Central written by Margarita Tartakovsky Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy: Healing Therapy or Just Hype?
This article goes on to showcase that the limited studies that have been done have shown generally positive results for adolescents struggling with behavioral issues. Tartakovsky reported the following in her article:
“In a recent pilot study, researchers explored EAP’s effectiveness in 63 children who witnessed violence between their parents and experienced child abuse (Schultz, Remick-Barlow & Robbins, 2007). After an average of 19 sessions, all children showed improved scores on the Children’s Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), which measures psychological, social and school functioning for six- to 17-year-olds.”
Overall- my thoughts are that it is incredibly challenging to engage children/adolescents who have been victims of severe trauma. In addition, many adults often reject the idea of traditional talk psychotherapy due to the stigma associated with it. I believe that if there are alternative treatment approaches available that have the potential to assist someone struggling with mental illnesses or behavioral health/relationship issues – this is a treatment approach absolutely worth exploring. Certain types of treatment will never work if someone isn’t willing to participate in it.
Lastly – on to local resources if you are interested in accessing Equine Assisted Therapy in Nevada.
Based on the search feature available directly on the EAGALA Site – these are the following certified programs available in Nevada at this time: