Teen Equine Therapy Helps Increase Self-Esteem

Equine therapy, also known as equine-assisted psychotherapy, is an experience based therapy that utilizes the interactions between horses and patients. Equine therapy increases self-esteem, emotional awareness, empathy, stress tolerance, problem-solving skills, assertiveness, flexibility, impulse control, independence, self-regard, self-actualization, social responsibility, and interpersonal relationships.

Equine therapy uses the general care of a horse as a way to identify behavior patterns, emotional processes and social interactions. Activities include, leading a horse, feeding, haltering, and grooming.

The general goal of equine-assisted psychotherapy is to help patients develop skill sets and refine thought and emotion processes. The skills that can be positively affected by equine therapy include accountability, self-confidence, responsibility, problem-solving skills, and self control. Another interesting fact about equine therapy is the ability of the therapist and patient to identify and address a broad range of behavioral and emotional challenges which can be seen through the interactions with the horse.

The benefits of equine therapy are derived from the interaction of the patient and the horse, with assistance from a therapist. This type of therapy is effective because horses do not judge the patient and have no ulterior motives or preconceived expectations. Horses are also effective at mirroring the behaviors and attitudes of the people they are working with.  Equine therapy increases self-esteem and other positive feeling and thoughts because the horse, patient, and therapist have a unique opportunity to observe tendencies of engaging in self-deprecating, defeating and negative thoughts and actions. These observations can lead to realizations that provide a great foundation for both discussing and processing these thoughts and feelings after equine therapy has ended.

Teen Equine Therapy Helps Emotional Behaviors

Equine therapy, or equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP) is a unique and innovative type of psychological therapy that incorporates the care of horses to help improve and increase emotional and behavioral growth. Equine therapy helps emotional behaviors as well as combative behavioral problems. Equine therapy is collaborative between a licensed therapist, horse professional, and the patient. This type of therapy is considered short term because of its intensity and high effectiveness.

Equine therapy is considered experiential because the patients learn more about themselves and those around them by participating in activities and car for the horses. The second part of equine therapy is the processing, where the patient processes their feelings and behavior patterns. This therapy approach is very much like rope courses, which are also used by therapists to help model the tangles and traps of everyday life and the way to deal with them. Equine therapy has been shown to help both the patients as well as the people that they interact with, like friends and family members.

Equine therapy has been shown to be a very effective and powerful therapy option and seems to have a great impact on the people that participate. Equine therapy helps emotional behaviors and addresses many different types of human development and mental health needs. Equine therapy has been shown to be effective in improving many skills including non-verbal communication, creative thinking, problem solving, assertiveness, work, leadership, responsibility, teamwork, attitude and confidence. The applications for equine assisted psychotherapy are limitless and will hopefully become a more mainstream therapeutic option in the not so distant future.

A Primer on Teen Equine Therapy

Many people have heard about the therapeutic benefits of working with animals.  One of the most time-tested forms of this therapy, equine therapy, can be especially helpful for teenagers.  For parents who are wondering, what is teen equine therapy and how can it help my child, here is a brief overview of equine therapy.

During teen equine therapy, students spend time working with horses to complete exercises.  Common drills might include leading the horse or otherwise coaxing it into doing something that it does not want to.  In time, teens learn that to work with a horse, they must be patient, build trust, and pay close attention to body language.  Horses can be stubborn and resist coercion, so by working with horses, teenagers can gain a little perspective on their own way of handling external pressures.  Teenagers also learn the importance of communication and patience firsthand.

Besides the lessons that teenagers learn while working with horses, there are additional benefits of spending time working with almost any animal.  Interactions with animals can release endorphins, which helps reduce feelings of sadness, stress, and anger.  Working with horses gives teenagers a calming ritual to look forward to on a regular basis.

No one can explain what is teen equine therapy quite like an expert, so parents who are interested in this treatment should make sure to speak with one for more information.  Equine therapy is not the first solution that most parents of troubled teens think of.  However, it can be a very effective way to level out a teenager’s emotions while helping him or her develop healthier behaviors and gain personal insights.

Teen Equine Therapy — Not Just a Passing Trend

Many parents may have heard of teen equine therapy and dismissed it as a fleeting trend or a therapy that is too good to be true.  However, this is far from accurate, as teen equine therapy importance and benefits are increasingly gaining recognition.  Here are a few key things to understand about equine therapy for teens before dismissing it as a treatment option.

First, teen equine therapy has physical benefits.  When people spend time with animals, chemicals that have a calming and uplifting effect are released.  Teenagers also have to practice emotional control, since horses mirror the behavior that they observe — for instance, a stressed handler will cause anxiety, and an angry handler will cause the horse to be uncooperative or aggressive.  Working with horses helps teenagers put their emotions on hold and focus on acting positively.  Time spent outdoors or doing something active can also be beneficial for teenagers with a sedentary lifestyle.

Of course, equine therapy can also help teenagers emotionally.  To work with a horse, a teenager must build a trusting relationship and let go of negative behaviors like shouting and physical aggression.  Teenagers must also learn how to work with the headstrong nature that many horses possess.  This helps teenagers practice working with others while gaining insight into a personal behavior that may frustrate or drive away other people.

Teen equine therapy offers a wide range of benefits.  Understanding teen equine therapy importance and effects can help parents make an informed decision when deciding what therapy their teenager needs.  Teen equine therapy may not be the clear choice for every situation, but it has helped a number of teenagers move past difficult times in a constructive and even fun way.

How Equine Therapy Helps Self Injuring Teens

Any parent who has a self harming teenager knows that there are a number of treatments available; choosing the best one is the hard part.  Teen equine therapy for self injuring teens is one option that should not be forgotten or written off.  For self injuring teens, the benefits of working with horses can be remarkable.

Many self injuring teens may feel isolated, have trouble expressing their emotions, and become locked into their thoughts and emotional patterns.  Equine therapy can help with all of these issues.  The bond with a horse takes trust and effort to develop, and it is a strong and rewarding connection.  Bonding with an animal can help teenagers feel trustful of others and more willing to share their feelings.  Working with a horse also requires teenagers to put aside their own issues and focus on the horse, which is a healthy escape and opportunity for perspective.

Another advantage of equine therapy is that many therapists from different backgrounds agree on its effectiveness.  Sometimes, different branches of psychology take a different view on why a behavior arises and how it should be treated.  People looking into equine therapy will find that therapists practicing various disciplines still recognize its benefits.  Parents of self injuring teens do not want to risk trying a therapy that is ineffective or counterproductive.  Equine therapy is a safe bet that can deliver remarkable results.

The right help can make all of the difference for troubled teens.  Teen equine therapy for self injuring teens can be especially beneficial, and teens are often more receptive to this kind of therapy.  This means that progress toward healthier feelings and coping mechanisms can be made faster, which is something that any parent can appreciate.

The Benefits of Teen Equine Therapy for Girls

For teens and adolescents who may have been in several types of therapy, whether behavioral or emotional, and are resistant to these programs, a new type of therapy is often being recommended. Teen equine therapy for girls has proven to be effective in promoting emotional growth. By working with horses, some teens do not realize that they are even in therapy. Because the therapy takes place outside of a typical office setting, some of the resistant behaviors may fall away.

At the beginning of an equine therapy program, an instructor may have the teenage girl try to move the horse out of a certain area of an arena without touching them at all. For most, this does not work, even though they may clap, yell, whistle and holler. This activity may promote a discussion with the teen about how they might feel when adults or peers in their lives try to make them do something by yelling, guilt or forcing.

Another valuable learning experience in teen equine therapy for girls is about how to lead a horse. Often, girls are not shown how the best way is to do this.  Typically, they will try to stand in front of the horse and pull, but will find that the horse will not be willing to move for them. The learning in this part of therapy will come as the student finds that the best way to lead a horse is to actually walk beside it. The discussions that can apply to this lesson can also be valuable in teens, as they may learn that effective leadership is not about the push or the pull, but instead about working together with others.

This new and innovative form of therapy has proven effective for many teens that have not had much success with traditional forms of therapy. By making sure you work with a certified Equine-Assisted Therapist, your teenage daughter may be able to benefit as well.

The Benefits of Teen Equine Therapy for Boys

Equine therapy is a form of animal-assisted therapy (also known as AAT).  It is effective in treating a number of mental conditions, including depression, conduct disorders, attention-deficit, dissociative disorders, autism, and anxiety.  It can be particularly good for treating teenage boys who are suffering from frustration, because working with horses encourages patience and helps to develop good communication skills.  If you are looking for a treatment therapy for your son, you may want to research the benefits of teen equine therapy for boys.

One of the major benefits of equine therapy is that patients can come to understand themselves better through their interactions with the animals.  For example, therapists will often set up this common exercise: a horse is placed in an arena, and patients are told to get the horse to move into a new area without touching it.  Usually the patients will try to clap their hands and yell at the horse, to no avail.  When the therapist illustrates how a horse can be moved without touching it physically, the students are given an opportunity to understand an alternate method of communication.   Through this exercise, the therapist is able to demonstrate that trying to impose your will on your environment does not always have the intended result.  The patient can then come to appreciate the value of looking for alternative solutions when they are faced with a problem they cannot immediately solve.

Programs that focus on teen equine therapy for boys can be a great way for troubled adolescents to learn how to navigate through their emotional issues.  If you think your son may benefit from such a treatment program, check to see if it is offered at a center near you.

Teen Equine Therapy Challenges the Idea of What Therapy Can Be

If you are a parent who is searching for the right type of therapy for your teen, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed.  There are so many types of therapy that it can be difficult to know which one is best.  There is cognitive therapy, behavioral therapy and the list goes on and on.  If your teen responds well to experiential learning, to nature and to animals, equine therapy might be a great therapeutic fit.  Teen equine therapy challenges the idea of what therapy can be and works well for young people that need to be active and creative.  Here are a few facts and a few of the benefits that this unique therapy offers.

Equine therapy is a healing process that is centered on working with horses in a natural environment.  This physically active practice and the outdoors setting make equine therapy fun for many teens.  Teens often feel more comfortable opening up emotionally and less self-conscious about being vulnerable when moving around with the horses.

Equine therapy also allows teens who are not as verbally communicative to still participate in a therapeutic process.  Horses do not need the teens to speak at great length about the issues that they are facing.  Rather, horses need the teens to focus on their body language, their tone, and their overall movement to create the right communication.  Ironically, through the process of understanding a horse’s non-verbal communication, many teens improve their verbal abilities and learn how to articulate their own thoughts more fully.

Raising teens in the world today can feel like a gigantic test of strength.  Teen equine therapy challenges the idea of what therapy can be and offers a unique method of support for teens that need it.

Top Reasons to Try Teen Equine Therapy

There is a wide range of treatment options for troubled teens, from boot camp-inspired retreats to medication.  However, for parents who want an effective but safe approach, it is worthwhile to consider teen equine therapy as a treatment for troubled teens.  Some parents may believe that equine therapy is not effective or practical enough, but the therapy offers many surprising benefits.

During equine therapy, teenagers must learn to work with horses to complete tasks together.  Learning to work with animals — especially horses, which are often stubborn and slow to trust — forces teenagers to work on many important skills.  Impulse and anger control are crucial, as horses do not respond well to outbursts or force.  A degree of empathy and reflection is also necessary, as teenagers must project outside of their own feelings and try to get into the horse’s mind.  This helps teenagers put aside self-centered behaviors, focus on others, and practice positive social interactions.

Another benefit of equine therapy is that it is unlikely to fail or have negative effects.  Harsh therapy treatments can backfire and cause teenagers to become more mistrustful of others or entrenched in their habits.  Equine therapy is a treatment that almost any teenager can come to love.  It is extremely unlikely that this therapy will alienate a teenager by making him or her feel powerless or mistreated.

Parents should not overlook teen equine therapy as a treatment option for troubled teenagers.  Many people miss out on the benefits of this treatment because they do not know enough about it to make a good decision.  If equine therapy is an available option for your teenager, make sure that you consider it and explore it thoroughly.

Teen Equine Therapy Helps Social Skills Improve

There are so many difficulties that teens face today.  Fitting in, getting good grades, finding friends and considering their future plans are all part of the daily adolescent maelstrom.  As they make their way in the world, your teens may fall into some bad habits or challenging situations.  When that happens, it can make you feel helpless as a parent.  How do you get through to your teens?  One possible way to do that is through an innovative therapy called equine therapy.  Equine therapy helps social skills improve for teens, so they can learn how to relate to other people in respectful and healthy ways.  Here is a little bit of background on this novel therapy.

Equine therapy uses horses to help teach teens about self-confidence, communication, and relationships.  Horses are actually very social animals and they each display unique personality traits.  This sociability allows for lots of opportunities for positive interactions with teen clients.  However, because each horse has its own likes and dislikes, teens have to learn how to read each horse’s body language correctly.  This process takes time, focus and hard work.  Many teens find that the work is worth it, in order to achieve a connection with the horse.  This process mentally cements the link between the labor required in order to build a relationship and the positive sentiment that results from a real connection.

In today’s world, there are so many factors that can try and pull your teen down the wrong path.

They may need your help, as a parent, to get back on the right track.  Equine therapy helps social skills improve for teens that need help in that area.  For more information, search online to find the practice that is closest to you.