What is Equine Therapy and Why Do Treatment Centers Use It?
For those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, they are certainly not alone. In fact, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that over 21 million American adults have struggled with substance abuse in a single year.
It is obvious that these substance abuses will affect many American families, so you need to make sure to stay informed on the best practices for quitting addictions.
Treatment centers continue to discover and develop healthy habits as alternatives to the addiction cycle. One method of therapy is that of equine therapy, which can boast of regular success in helping addicts recover.
If you are not familiar with equine-assisted therapy (EAT), you have come to the right place. Essentially, EAT has addiction patients care for horses daily to promote confidence and responsibility. The rest of this article will explain more about the therapy and how it works.
The Basics of Equine Therapy
It should be noted that EAT is not used as a sole method of treatment for any addict’s recovery process. Their interactions with a horse on a regular basis will only assist the rest of the treatment program, not replace it.
Patients are normally assigned to a horse or horses for which to care for the length of his or her stay at the treatment center. Such an assignment may include a variety of tasks.
Patients are taught to feed the horse, implement exercise with walks together, and perhaps even saddle the horse. For the most part, though, there is no riding of the horse. This is because horses at these treatment centers are usually too old for any serious riding.
After a time, patients will start to discover the benefits of responsibility for another creature. They will gain confidence, as well, as they gain trust in the partnership they form with the horse.
Who Needs It?
Perhaps you are not yet sure if you or your family member needs drug and/or alcohol addiction treatment in the first place. There are many signs to spot a drug addiction, like some of these symptoms. A drug addiction could grow to a serious problem for you and your loved ones if you do not seek proper care.
Patients who check into treatment centers are those who are ready to kick their unhealthy habits for good. They may have tried handling the transformation unsuccessfully on their own.
Checking into a treatment center means a patient is going to go through many therapeutic measures to lead a balanced life in the future. Equine therapy is available as one of those avenues which will add to the overall positive treatment experience. They will most likely also go through group therapy, individual counseling, and fitness routines.
How Does It Work?
The tasks and chores to care for the horse are only part of the therapy. Horses are rather expressive personalities, and patients tend to develop true relationships with the animals.
Behavior therapy is an important part of drug recovery, and equine therapy is a perfect mirror for the patient’s behavior. Horses have an uncanny ability to reflect a human’s immediate emotions.
Whatever emotion or discomfort a human is feeling, a horse is feeling, too. This leads to self-reflection on the patient’s part as they desire to calm and comfort the animal.
This is why learning responsible behaviors are so crucial substance abuse recovery. Patients are learning to cope with factors outside of their control by trusting others (the horse) and themselves. They are also learning that their level of self-control and emotional stability calms others around them.
Plus, caring for the horse’s everyday hygiene, exercise, and health encourages similar habits in the patients. Equine therapy has also been by patients of all ages and for all different kinds of medical reasons. Substance addiction therapy is only one of these ways.
Benefits and Self-Worth
This trust of self should not be taken lightly. Self-confidence is key to a long-lasting recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.
Treatment centers go through specific therapies to encourage self-confidence within each patient. Individuals are nurtured to handle their own accountability and respect for their behavior as it relates to others.
Equine therapy is a great way to show patients that they can be useful and valued in another person’s (or horse’s) life. Such a revelation can bring patients to see the world more positively and as something for them to contribute to.
Another specific benefit of equine therapy is the emotional control the horse can inspire in the patient. He or she will recognize that a calm horse is safer than an anxious horse. Soon enough, the patient will learn that by remaining level-headed, situations can stay calm, too.
Why Treatment Centers Use This Additional Therapy
Treatment centers are dedicated to encouraging a varying and productive outlook on life. This requires patients to be fully prepared to discover habits that are fulfilling, meaningful, and generally enjoyable. Equine therapy, fortunately, has a high level of approval.
In fact, a long and thorough study was done by Walden University about the benefits of equine therapy. This study showed that over 96% of the participants declared that the therapy was successful in their recovery.
Overall, this form of therapy is used in connection with a balanced occupation of time doing various treatments and therapy. As the study mentions, at the very least.
Find the Best Treatment Center for You
After reading this article, you might recognize that treatment centers are a great option for anyone trying to quit a substance addiction.
The varying perspectives of trained professionals are perfect for establishing a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle. Patients receive the best medical, emotional, and mental attention and care.
If you or someone you know is looking for the best treatment center to suit the addiction at hand, look no further. Read all about us and how we can help you find one.
We know how devastating drug or alcohol addiction can be, and we believe in a whole recovery for all of those looking to better their lives.