Why Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Gives Unique Benefits

Equine assisted psychotherapy is a unique but highly promising type of therapy is which horses are used to aid the mental states of patients who are in need of treatment.

It is only one of many related approaches which fall under the general banner of psychotherapy, but it is a unique approach which has much potential for creative use and development.

There is a definite affinity between human beings and the horse, which can be used in a constructive way to cure behavioral difficulties.

There are approaches based on equine facilitated psychotherapy which can help with many psychological disorders. Among these are learning disorders which are affecting increasing numbers of children, such as autism.

psychotherapy approaches

It can be extremely difficult to reach a child suffering from autism using conventional techniques, simply because their learning ability is not sufficiently developed to allow them to absorb and understand complex instructions or dialog from a practicing therapist.

With horses, the children seem able to communicate at a deeper level, and they seem able to naturally form a bond with them. This can make it easier for the human therapist to make contact.

The use of horses in therapy is also proving highly effective in adult subjects, especially those in which the patient has an inbuilt sense of inadequacy. This can lead to symptoms of eating disorders, drug or other substance abuse, feelings of isolation or inferiority, and other behavioral patterns which can be highly destructive over time.

The feelings which build up are often reinforced by incidents which happen in real life, validating the belief within the mind of the patient. Working with horses is surprisingly effective at treating these difficulties, and gradually bringing the patient round to a new belief that they are perfectly adequate and a valuable member of society.


The use of equine assisted psychotherapy is so specialized that it takes special training to make it happen effectively.

In the United States, as with most countries, you need to have a license to be able to practice psychotherapy. This means that you will need to take a course in psychotherapy as a whole, and not just try to develop knowledge of equine psychotherapy.

This will work out in your favour in the end, as it will give you so many more options for treating patients. The standard college training which is available will cover these techniques in brief, but you will then be free to take specialized training from the pioneers, as a licensed practitioner.

If you are not able to devote full time hours to your studying, there is still a way to break through. You will be able to take an online study course in general psychotherapy, leading to the certification you need to be able to practice.

Even if the course does not cover the use of horses specifically, you will still have achieved the first target of becoming a qualified practitioner. From there, you will be able to earn money from treating patients while you study to become competent in equine psychotherapy.

The use of equine assisted psychotherapy is likely to become increasingly common during the coming years, as stories of its success are circulated.

The numbers of children suffering from learning disorders is constantly increasing, and there as to be a way to help these children to a better future. The use of horses is innovative, but it is perfectly safe and cannot lead to any unpleasant or unexpected side effects.

It must be one of the most promising techniques for treating children with learning difficulties, and there are also many adults who can benefit from equine assisted psychotherapy.

Author: Marc Knox