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equine therapy

At all of our Royal Life Centers locations, we have incorporated equine-assisted therapy (EAT) into our group therapy programming. A therapist leads sessions, which may involve petting, grooming, feeding, caring for, haltering, or leading the horses. Guests typically do not ride the horses used in equine-assisted therapy.

Horses are used in treatment for substance use disorders because they are able to mirror human actions and emotions, and equine-assisted therapy has become an increasingly popular experiential therapy in the recovery field for this reason. The emotional reflection helps make guests aware of their own actions and emotions, ultimately increasing self-awareness, and helps them to feel recognized.

Equine Therapy

Therapy With Horses

Working with horses can increase cognitive skills, which can reduce stress and help manage symptoms of mental health disorders such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety, disorders that often co-occur with substance use disorder. Because horses are prey animals, they are highly sensitive to their environment, making them especially responsive to human cues. A horse’s size itself is conducive to change, as guests overcome their own weariness and learn to trust the animal.

Additionally, horses cannot react in the same ways that humans do, so guests can build relationships with horses without fear of judgment or rejection. With the facilitation of one of our therapists, these interactions may become metaphors for human relationships.

Benefits of Equine Therapy

Biofeedback therapy is a mind-body technique that focuses on better controlling involuntary bodily responses, and equine-assisted therapy can be considered one form of this type of therapy. Guests can learn to better moderate their thinking, emotional, and behavioral patterns to reduce negativity, limit dysfunctional thoughts, and enhance perceptions of positivity.

Interacting with horses, whether through grooming or petting, at Royal Life Centers can relieve stress and boost dopamine and endorphin levels. Because horses care only how you interact with/behave around them, they can prove especially helpful in treating substance use disorder, a disease that is often trying on personal relationships.

Equine Therapy Sessions

Our therapist will lead guests through activities and ask questions— Why do you think the horse reacted a certain way in response to a particular action? How do you think you should reapproach the horse?— to promote thoughtful discussion and consideration of guests’ outward expression of emotions and feelings.

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At Royal Life Centers, we are dedicated to providing quality care, unmatched standards, and only the best practices. Reach out to us today, our team of addiction specialists make themselves available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Because We Care.

*ASAM 3.7 Level of Care Certified at The Haven, Spokane Heights, and Arizona Detox Royal Life Centers Facilities.
"Accreditations are a mark of excellence, they establish which treatment programs offer the best in quality care and treatment practices. If you are looking for an approved and established addiction treatment program, please verify a center’s accreditations before you or your loved one enter that program. Because We Care."