Columbia International University
“The horse acts as the teacher and unlocks the client. The animal facilitates emotional breakthroughs, and the effect, therapists report, can be magical” (Hayley Sumner).
Definition and Explanation of the Topic and Interest:
Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT), specifically, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy/Learning is a type of therapy that is primarily solution-focused and client-centered. The heart of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy/Learning is captured within the EGALA system (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association). According to Hayley Sumner who is published in the US Newswire, “EGALA has set the standard for horse-related therapy including both equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP) and equine assisted learning (EAL) and has trained over 8,000 individuals globally in this experiential modality since its founding in1999” (Sumner). Lynn Thomas, co-founder and Executive of the EGALA association says, “Because of their size, acute sensitivity and history with humans, horses have a unique appeal worldwide, helping clients become more engaged in the therapeutic process.” Anne Ricalde, the association’s Regional Coordinator for Latin America says, “Our programs focus on EGALA activities which help our youth understand that they have the strength and option to choose a more productive path and take back their lives” (Sumner). It appears throughout the research that exists on this topic that the main desire of the therapists utilizing any form of EAT is that their clients gain a firmer understanding of the freedom they possess to choose what their lives entail.
People may suggest that there are many different forms of animal therapy so they wonder, why choose horses over another animal? Researchers Osborne and Selby write,
The equine’s demands in interactions with humans are relatively simple and uncomplicated (Fine 2000). Horse-human interactions differ from the typical companion
References: Chalmers, Darlene & Dell, Colleen Anne. (2011). Equine-Assisted Therapy with First Nations Youth in Residential Treatment for Volatile Substance Misuse: Building an Empirical Knowledge Base. Native Studies Review; 2011, Vol. 20 Issue 1, p59-87, 29p. http://ezproxy.ciu.edu:2055/ehost/detail?sid=246f1ed5-457f-441f-977b-f453cd066f4d%40sessionmgr4&vid=17&hid=2&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=aph&AN=74458475 Ewing, Carrie A., MacDonald, Pamelyn M., Taylor, Meghan & Bowers, Mark J. (1/2007). Equine-Facilitated Learning for Youths with Severe Emotional Disorders: A Quantitative and Qualitative Study. Child & Youth Care Forum; Feb2007, Vol. 36 Issue 1, p59-72, 14p, 3 Charts, 1 Graph. http://ezproxy.ciu.edu:2055/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=4&hid=2&sid=246f1ed5-457f-441f-977b-f453cd066f4d%40sessionmgr4 Fine, A. (Ed.). (2000). Handbook on animal-assisted therapy: Theoretical foundations and guidelines for practice. San Diego, CA: Academic Press. McDaniel, I. (1998). What exactly is “equine facilitated mental health & equine experiential learning?”. Strides, 4, 30-31. RAND corporation. (4/2008) One In Five Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Suffer from PTSD or Major Depression. http://www.rand.org/news/press/2008/04/17.html Sanekane, Cindy. (2009). Equine-assisted therapies: Complementary medicine or not? Australian Journal of Outdoor Education; 2009, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p33-43, 11p. http://ezproxy.ciu.edu:2055/ehost/detail?sid=246f1ed5-457f-441f-977b-f453cd066f4d%40sessionmgr4&vid=14&hid=2&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=eft&AN=508035580 Schultz, P. N., Remick-Barlow, G. A., & Robbins, L. (2007). Equine-assisted psychotherapy: A mental health promotion/intervention modality for children who have experienced intra-family violence. Health and Social Care in the Community, 15, 265-271. Smith-Osborne, Alexa & Selby, Alison. (3/2010). Implications of the Literature on Equine-Assisted Activities for Use as a Complementary Intervention in Social Work Practice with Children and Adolescents. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal; Aug2010, Vol. 27 Issue 4, p291-307, 17p. http://ezproxy.ciu.edu:2055/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=7&hid=2&sid=246f1ed5-457f-441f-977b-f453cd066f4d%40sessionmgr4 Sumner, Hayley. (6/2007). Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EGALA) Paves the Way for Horse-Related Therapies in Helping Victims of Terrorism, Trauma and Other Challenges. PR Newswire US, 06/07/2011. http://ezproxy.ciu.edu:2055/ehost/detail?sid=246f1ed5-457f-441f-977b-f453cd066f4d%40sessionmgr4&vid=11&hid=2&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=n5h&AN=201106071005PR.NEWS.USPR.DC13976