PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENTIAL THERAPY THAT DRIVES CHANGE
From EAGALA Website
At EquiShui, we use the EAGALA Model approach to Equine Therapy. The model is so effective because it embraces the science that humans learn best by doing.
The model prescribes a hands-on approach where clients are given the space to project and analyze their situations, make connections, and find their own solutions. Since the solutions are personally experienced in conjunction with intellectual understanding, they tend to be deeper, more profound, and longer lasting.
HOW IT WORKS
The EAGALA Model is a team approach that includes a licensed, credentialed Mental Health Professional, a qualified Equine Specialist, and horses working together with the client in an arena at all times.
When inside the arena, all the work is done on the ground with the horses front and center, deliberately unhindered and never ridden, and allowed to interact with the client as they wish. This creates the space for the client, with the support of the professional facilitators, to reflect, project, and make deep connections.
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)
EAP is the combined use of horses, a licensed mental health therapist and an equine specialist working with clients to facilitate healing in the context of psychotherapy. The Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) defines Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) as a collaborative effort between a licensed therapist and a horse professional designed to address specific treatment issues presented by a psychotherapy client. This unique method enables clients to learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, and then processing (or discussing) feelings, behaviors and patterns.
EAP utilizes this relationship with the horse as a tool to mirror client's experiences and facilitate change. Therapeutic results begin immediately and it can be used with a variety of populations such as children, teens, adults and groups. In fact, EAP can be used in counseling with individuals and families.
It has been used in diverse settings with diverse populations, producing impressive results and it used to treat behavioral issues, ADHD, phobias, eating disorders, abuse issues, depression, anxiety, PTSD, addictions, relation problems, communication issues and so much more.
This model uses only groundwork (no mounted experiences). This naturally empowering approach is about connecting, inviting the client to explore a relationship with a horse in an unbound state and discover their own inner restrictions while accessing a more fluid and easeful way of being.
Equine Assisted Learning (EAL)
Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is an experiential learning approach with horses which promotes the development of life skills. The focus on life skills can be used for personal growth, to reengage students in academic learning, to provide protective factors for at risk children and teens and exploration of professional pursuits like team building, leadership development and productivity increase.
Typically, the clients participate in activity with the horses on the ground and a trained facilitator guides the learning process. Sessions are facilitated by a professional who has training and certifications that qualifies them to work safely with horses, have knowledge and skill in experiential learning methods and have been trained in facilitation.
Equine assisted learning is typically offered to individuals and groups and lessons are always on the ground in the EAGALA model.
The difference between equine assisted learning and equine assisted psychotherapy is that in EAL, rather than focusing on issues relating to specific trauma, the focus is on developing life skills like resilience, self-worth, connection to self and others, communication, interpersonal skills, trust and setting boundaries.