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What is the difference between Equine Therapy and Equine Assisted Learning?

Understanding the Power of Equine Therapy: Healing Through the Heart of Horses

Imagine a place where words are optional, where judgment doesn't exist, and where healing and growth occur in the presence of gentle giants. This magical place is where the world of humans and horses intertwines, and it's known as Equine Therapy and Equine Assisted Learning


What is Equine Therapy?

Equine Therapy, also known as Equine-Assisted Therapy or Horse-Assisted Therapy, is a unique and powerful form of therapy that involves interactions with horses. It goes beyond the traditional office setting and verbal communication, tapping into the innate ability of horses to intuitively connect with humans on an emotional and non-verbal level. Equine Assisted Therapy should be offered by registered counsellors, psychotherapists or mental health practitioners.

What is Equine Assisted Learning?

Equine Assisted Learning (EAL), also known as Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) is experiential learning with horses that involves interactions with horses on the ground. Clients learn about themselves as they are supported by a certified practitioner through experiences with the horses to develop awareness, social-emotional skills building, life skills, numeracy and literacy skills, personal growth, calmness and regulation skills. All sessions can be tailored to the persons particular needs.

The main difference between equine therapy and equine assisted learning is whether the facilitator has completed a mental health qualification or an equine assisted learning certification. A therapist or psychotherapist can look at the family of origin and has had training to assist with specific therapeutic models of care. An EAL practitioner will support clients with maintaining physical and emotional safety while developing life skills.

Here's a closer look at what makes Equine Assisted Learning so special:

1. Emotional Connection: Horses are incredibly intuitive and sensitive animals. They can perceive and mirror the emotions of those around them. This makes them ideal partners for individuals seeking to explore and understand their emotional states.

2. Non-Verbal Communication: Equine Facilitated Learning relies heavily on non-verbal communication, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals who struggle with traditional talk therapy. Horses respond to body language, energy, and emotions, allowing clients to develop self-awareness and communication skills.

3. Building Trust: Building trust is a crucial aspect of Equine Assisted Learning. The process of earning a horse's trust often parallels the journey of building trust in human relationships. Participants learn to set boundaries, gain confidence, and develop a sense of safety and security.

4. Social-Emotional Skills: Equine Assisted Learning is highly effective in promoting social-emotional skills, including empathy, assertiveness, communication, and teamwork. These skills are not only essential for personal growth but can also be invaluable in various aspects of life, such as relationships and work.

5. Learning Goals for NDIS: Equine Facilitated Learning is an approved therapeutic intervention for participants of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). It can help individuals with disabilities achieve their specific learning goals, improve their overall well-being, and enhance their quality of life.

6. Mental Health Well-Being: Equine Facilitated Learning has shown promising results in supporting individuals dealing with a wide range of mental health challenges, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more. The nurturing presence of horses and the therapeutic relationship formed can be profoundly healing.

The Role of the Equine Facilitated Learning Practitioner:

As an Equine Facilitated Learning Practitioner, my role is to create a safe and supportive environment for clients to engage with horses. I guide individuals through various activities and exercises that promote self-discovery, personal growth, and the achievement of their therapy goals.

Each Equine Facilitated Learning session is uniquely tailored to the needs and goals of the participant. Whether it's working on emotional regulation, building self-esteem, improving communication, or addressing trauma, horses are our trusted companions on this journey of self-improvement and healing.

If you're ready to embark on a profound and transformative therapeutic journey, consider the world of Equine Facilitated Learning. The heart and soul of these magnificent creatures can help you find the healing and growth you seek. It's a therapy that transcends words and touches the very core of your being, opening doors to self-discovery and emotional well-being.

Ready to explore the world of Equine Assisted Learning? Contact me to start your journey of healing and growth with the incredible support of our equine partners.

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