What is Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy?
As defined by PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship), equine facilitated psychotherapy is, “a form of experiential psychotherapy that includes equine(s). It may include, but is not limited to, a number of mutually beneficial equine activities such as handling, grooming, longeing, riding, driving, and vaulting. Equine-facilitated psychotherapy is a treatment approach within the classification of equine-assisted therapy that provides the client with opportunities to enhance self-awareness and re-pattern maladaptive behaviors, feelingsand attitudes.”
Do I need a physician referral for EFP?
A physician referral for equine therapy is not necessary. You may contact us at 704-608-8441 to arrange an initial intake with one of our contracted therapists in order to begin developing a treatment plan. If you have questions of a general nature about the available programs, you may also contact Kris Batchelor, Equine Specialist at 704-608-8441.
What will my sessions at the farm be like?
Every therapeutic session at the farm will be co-facilitated by both a licensed therapist and a certified Equine Specialist. This team approach allows us to maximize your physical and emotional safety while working with the horses. Sessions may be individual, couples, family, or group structured depending on your own treatment goals. Duration of individual, couples and family sessions are typically one hour and group work is typically done in ninety minute sessions. Again, depending upon your goals, you may come to the farm once or for several months.The content of your sessions will vary depending upon your personal treatment goals. The treatment team, consisting of a licensed therapist andEquine Specialist, will design activities with the horses that will allow you to explore issues related to self-awareness, confidence, boundary setting, interpersonal skills, trust, respect, body image, etc. Those activities may include observation, haltering, leading, grooming, tacking, riding, and any number of other creative ways that we will guide your interactions with the horses so that you can learn about yourself.
For more specific descriptions of EFP sessions, be sure to check out our blog, “How It Works.” All names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of our clients.
Do I need to have horse experience?
No prior horse experience is necessary. Most of our clients have never been around horses and may never be around them again after completing therapy.
Will I learn how to ride?
Equine facilitated therapy is very different than riding lessons. Our objective is not to teach you a skill to improve your horsemanship, but rather to allow you to gain self-awareness that will assist you in meeting the goals of the treatment plan that has been developed by you and your therapist. You may do some mounted work with the horses if there is a therapeutic reason for doing so.
Is it safe?
Our staff at Triple Play Farm has spent many hundreds of hours developing our own horsemanship, selecting and caring for the herd here. We know all of the horses very well and carefully choose certain horses for certain clients and activities. The job of the Equine Specialist during all sessions is to maintain physical safety for all participants. That being said, horses are 1,000 pound creatures with the instincts of a prey animal. We will certainly mitigate risk, but part of your experience here at the farm is also taking responsibility for your own safety, a subject that we will discuss in greater depth when you are here.
Should I wear special clothing?
When working with the horses, we ask that you wear closed toe shoes and if possible, no dangling jewelry. If we are planning to do mountedwork, we will also ask that you wear long pants and a heeled shoe.
Do you take insurance payments?
Some of the therapists with whom we contract do accept insurance payments for mental health treatment and the specifics of your particular situation are best discussed with them during your intake. Triple Play Farm also provides contract services and upon request, we would be happy to prepare a proposal for your organization’s board and/or grant writer as well.
What makes you qualified? Couldn’t I go to any barn and call it therapy?
When seeking equine facilitated psychotherapy, you should be very diligent in examining the credentials of any barn that claims to be doing “therapy.” Triple Play Farm is a member center of PATH Intl. and all of our Equine Specialists have received training and certification through PATH and/or EAGALA. We would be happy to provide the criteria for these certifications, which require ongoing continuing education to stay current in this emerging field. We also require our therapists to undergo certification specific to equine therapy and encourage them to develop their own horsemanship if possible. The farm also holds extensive liability insurance specific to the field of equine assisted therapy. Most importantly, any time that we are providing therapeutic services, there is always a therapist present who is licensed to practice in the state of North Carolina.
How can I get the ball rolling?
Thank you for your interest in Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy.Share