Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy and Experiental Learning
Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy (EAP) or Equine-Assisted Experiential learning (EAL) is an emerging field of therapy that works with horses to help promote emotional growth and learning of clients with a variety of issues. This work entails a collaboration between a professional psychotherapist &/or equine professional, and a horse in order to help participants learn about themselves and others through interacting in a horse-human exchange.
As in other forms of psychotherapy or experiential learning, the goal of sessions may vary. Common themes are building confidence, improving communication skills, or enhancing personal insights that give participants new and creative problem-solving tools to situations in their everyday lives.
By interacting cooperatively with a large, powerful animal, participants are able to develop greater self-confidence, learn about boundaries, and overcome fears. Horses are uniquely suited to this work because of their responsiveness to human emotional cues. As animals of prey, they are highly sensitive to changes in their environment and their human partners. Horses give consistent feedback that helps their human partners shape new behaviors and refine “Emotional Intelligence” skills for improved relationships and better self-awareness.
Carol has completed training in several schools of Equine-assisted therapy, including the EPONA method by Linda Kohanov, an internationally known trainer and author of The Tao of Equus: A Woman’s Journey of Healing and Transformation through the Way of the Horse and Riding Between the Worlds. Carol is an EPONA-approved Instructor. She has co-facilitated workshops with senior EPONA faculty.Carol has also been trained by the Equine Assisted Growth and Experiential Learning Association
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