Equine therapy, also known as equine-assisted therapy (EAT), is an innovative approach to addiction treatment that involves interactions between patients and horses. This form of therapy has been recognized for its role in behavioral health treatment, and the benefits of equine therapy can support individuals on their journey toward recovery.
Insight Recovery Center offers an equine therapy program as part of our comprehensive behavioral health services. We offer evidence-based therapies as well as holistic or alternative therapy options. Our professional and compassionate staff is experienced in treating substance use disorders and any co-occurring mental health conditions like depression or anxiety.
Call Insight Recovery Center today at 828.826.1376 to learn more about the benefits of equine therapy and other alternative therapy options.
What Is Equine Therapy?
Equine therapy is a type of animal-assisted therapy that utilizes horses as therapeutic tools. The process involves activities such as grooming, feeding, haltering, and leading a horse, which are supervised by a mental health professional, often in collaboration with a horse specialist.
This therapeutic approach is based on the premise that these activities require individuals to apply certain skills such as responsibility, assertiveness, non-verbal communication, empathy, and problem-solving. Through the process, individuals learn to identify and change maladaptive behaviors, which can be particularly beneficial for those dealing with addiction.
Five Benefits of Equine Therapy in Addiction Treatment
Equine therapy offers many benefits to those struggling with behavioral health issues. For example, here are five benefits of equine therapy that can help promote and sustain recovery:
- Enhanced self-awareness – Equine therapy helps individuals gain insight into their emotions and behaviors. Horses respond to human behavior, providing immediate feedback that can help individuals recognize and address negative patterns.
- Improved emotional regulation – Interacting with horses can promote emotional stability. The calming presence of horses can help decrease stress levels and improve mood, which is essential in managing withdrawal symptoms and cravings in addiction recovery.
- Boosted self-efficacy – Working with horses can build confidence and self-esteem. Accomplishing tasks such as leading a horse can empower individuals, fostering a sense of achievement and capability that supports recovery.
- Increased social skills – Equine therapy encourages cooperation and communication. This can enhance social skills and foster healthier relationships, which are crucial in creating a supportive recovery network.
- Promotion of mindfulness – The focus required in equine therapy promotes mindfulness and presence. This can help individuals become more attuned to their feelings and thoughts, promoting healthier coping mechanisms for dealing with addiction.
By combining alternative therapy options with evidence-based therapies, Insight Recovery Center provides personalized treatment plans tailored to individual recovery needs and goals.
The Importance of Alternative Therapy Options
Addiction is a complex condition that often requires a multifaceted treatment approach. Evidence-based therapies are fundamental in addressing addiction’s biological and psychological aspects. However, alternative therapy options like equine therapy play an essential role, too. They address the emotional and spiritual dimensions of recovery, offering comprehensive healing.
Equine therapy aligns with evidence-based and holistic approaches, providing diverse therapeutic benefits that can enhance traditional treatment methods. It offers a unique opportunity for self-exploration and growth, promoting lasting recovery.
At Insight Recovery, we employ several alternative therapy options in addition to equine therapy. These include the following:
When combined with evidence-based practices like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and others, true healing can take place and recovery achieved.
Realize the Benefits of Equine Therapy Today
At Insight Recovery Center in Asheville, NC, we understand the benefits of equine therapy. Our comprehensive addiction treatment programs integrate this innovative approach, offering you a unique path toward healing and recovery.