How Does Equine Therapy Improve Mental Health?

therapeautic boarding school

When you’re searching for the best therapeutic boarding school for your daughter, there are important questions to consider:

What is the credibility and success rate of the program?
How caring and equipped is the staff?
Have I heard any of the testimonies of alumni?
Is the location and atmosphere conducive to recovery?
What about the curriculum?
These are all vitally important questions, and Greenbrier definitely sets the bar when answering them.

Some of the things you may not immediately consider that truly set Greenbrier Academy apart are the full range of tools and therapy we use to reach your daughter. We are holistic beings, so healing must take place on all levels; mind, body and spirit. We provide tools for recovery and an abundant life that your daughter will use long after she has completed her time here.

Greenbrier Academy’s equine therapy is one of those tools.

How Does Equine Therapy Help With Depression, Anxiety and Mental Health?

Equine assisted psychotherapy has proven benefits, but how does it work and what exactly are these benefits?

According to an in-depth study conducted by Western Michigan University, the benefits of equine therapy clients felt were most important are:

  • Increased self confidence
  • Increased sense of empowerment
  • Heightened self esteem
  • Improved quality of life

At Greenbrier Academy for Girls, we use equine therapy, as well as canine rescue, as help for troubled teens struggling with discouragement, trauma and self-doubt. The mindfulness involved in equine therapy and the connection between horse and student helps build tools of self-observation and evaluation while also learning how actions and behaviors affect relationships with others and self. It is a powerful tool in therapy.

More About How Equine Therapy Works

As prey animals, horses are highly attuned to their environment and those around them. Because of this, they are often able to ‘read’ an individual’s emotions even before she is aware of those feelings herself. The horse reacts instinctively and quickly to the student’s feelings, providing instant feedback. If the horse senses hostility, anger or frustration, it will immediately back away. This type of honest and non-judgmental feedback can help your daughter understand the type of emotions she’s bringing into a relationship.

In addition to being acutely aware, horses are also powerful and large. Being near them and taking part in their care is directly related to an increase in self-confidence, which will then translate into her relationships with others. Also, horses are extremely social, which means they don’t easily give up on people. If your daughter is engaged and willing to interact, the horse will respond in kind and put in just as much effort to build a healthy relationship as she does.

What is Equine Therapy Used For?

Equine therapy can be helpful in treating many different types of mental health and emotional issues your daughter may have been diagnosed with. Equine therapy helps with

Anxiety
Depression
Attention deficit hyperactive disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Substance abuse
Eating disorders
Behavioral issues
Communication issues
Relational problems

A skilled facilitator will help your daughter learn how to approach the horse while determining what steps she can take to change the way she is feeling or behaving so the animal is at ease during the process.

Benefits of Equine Therapy at Greenbrier Academy

Another study, reported in the Health Psychology Journal has found the practice of equine assisted therapy to be very beneficial for mental health and behavioral issues, especially when combined with traditional therapy. The study found that in just two or three sessions, your daughter could experience positive and long-lasting results.

As one of the best female boarding schools in the country, Greenbrier Academy combines a full range of therapeutic practices to help your daughter improve her relationship with herself and others while also treating emotional and behavioral issues that negatively impact these goals. Consider how Greenbrier can assist your teen using equine therapy, canine rescue and other forms of therapy.

Give us a call today to discuss the best holistic treatment plan for your daughter.