The benefits of an equine therapy addiction program are well-documented, but among the general public, less is known about this alternate therapy. An equine therapy program uses horses to help promote personal growth and emotional development for people struggling with a variety of issues including those with a substance abuse addiction.
Equine Therapy – Part Of A Comprehensive Treatment Program
The multiple benefits of equine therapy are becoming better recognized as more and more people are trying alternate forms of therapy programs. Equine therapy is often just a single aspect of a more comprehensive treatment program, and is often used along with behavioral or cognitive therapy and other sorts of treatment. Generally speaking, individuals in the program spend one-on-one time with a horse every day where they care for and build a trusting relationship with their horse. Other time is devoted to working with therapists, counselors, and doctors to overcome their addiction.
How equine therapy can help addicts recover depends a lot on the relationship developed between the individual and the horse he or she works with. This relationship grows as the patient tends to the horse’s basic needs, helping to feed, groom, exercise, and train them. Learning the basics in saddling a horse is another thing they work on, although many equine therapy programs do not include riding.
How Equine Therapy Helps Addict’s Emotional And Physical Issues
The use of equine therapy for drug addiction stems from animal therapy’s history with helping people with a variety of problems. Addicts become dependent on substances and equine therapy has been used to improve the conditions of patients struggling with addictions to alcohol, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other substances. Horse therapy can alleviate pain, reduce blood pressure and stress, and can improve the patients’ moods.
For patients being treated for drug addiction, equine therapy can motivate them to focus on something healthy and beneficial. Their relationship with the horse can begin to replace their unhealthy fixations that helped to perpetuate their toxic drug addictions. As therapists and doctors continue to grow equine therapy programs, more and more drug-dependent people will explore the benefits of equine therapy. As they learn to keep a regular schedule and care for the animals, patients will be encouraged to examine their own actions and plans for the future. The ultimate goal of equine therapy is to allow patients to grow beyond their addiction.
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