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Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy or

Equine Facilitated Learning

Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy EFP is an experiential treatment approach that provides the client with equine experiences designed to promote self-esteem, self-awareness and responsibility through the relationship with the horse.  The partnership includes the therapist and the horse working together as a team.  Structured activities on or around horses can provide the EFP practitioner with "three dimensional information" about the client in many areas not fully accessed in an office setting; such as trust and safety, boundaries, ability to follow directions, sequence, fine and gross motor skills, balance, attention span, cognitive abilities and learning styles, empathy, ability to establish relationships, and behavioral flexibility, to name a few.  The horse provides a thousand pounds of feedback and forty pounds of manure daily for "larger than life" teaching consequences to assist the EFP practitioner.  EFP offers the client an opportunity to explore feelings, take risks and learn about self in a non-threatening environment where activities can be structured to challenge negative thinking, to teach new coping and living skills, and to heal trauma damaged spirits.

Sessions vary in length and range from 45 to 90 minutes.  Clients learn horsemanship skills such as grooming, tacking, leading, stable management, and most importantly, how to develop a relationship with a horse.  They also may learn basic riding skills as part of their psychotherapy.  There is plenty of time to talk and make use of other therapies, as well as ride and tend to the horses.  Lessons learned from the horse are applied to the rest of the client's life.


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