EMDR Equine Therapy
Equine-assisted therapy allows you to explore your story, learn problem-solving skills, and discover your resilience to overcome challenges guided by the team’s facilitation. It provides space for a natural unfolding of self-discovery and insight.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a method of psychotherapy that is proven to help people recover from trauma and other distressing life experiences, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic disorders. EMDR has been extensively researched and is considered a “best practice” for mental health work. Our brains have a natural way to recover from traumatic memories and events. This process involves communication between the amygdala (the alarm signal for stressful events), the hippocampus (which assists with learning, including memories about safety and danger), and the prefrontal cortex (which analyzes and controls behavior and emotion). Most of the time, traumatic experiences can be managed and resolved spontaneously, sometimes they can get “stuck” and need some help to process. Stress responses are part of our natural fight, flight, or freeze instincts. When distress from a disturbing event remains, the upsetting images, thoughts, and emotions may create an overwhelming feeling of being back in that moment, or of being “frozen in time.” EMDR therapy helps the brain process these memories, and allows normal healing to resume. The experience is still remembered, but the fight, flight, or freeze response from the original event is resolved. (adapted from www.emdria.org)
The horses are great partners in doing this work because horses are prey animals. As prey animals, they evolved to be very sensitive and alert to potential threats or dangers, which is also true of humans who have experienced trauma. Once the threat is over, horses easily return to a state of balance, they return to ‘now’ and do not get stuck in ‘trauma time.’ Just the presence of the horses is one way they help your nervous system to re-tune — they help you return to the here and now. The therapist may also turn your attention to the horses and their behavior, or invite you to engage with them depending on your individual needs and your individual responses in a session. Horses are completely accepting and non-judgmental of others and their emotions. Particularly when the trauma someone experienced was interpersonal in nature — being harmed or betrayed or humiliated by someone — horses provide an avenue to relearn trust in others and themselves.
We also offer groups and classes in a comfortable supportive environment. [ Learn more ]