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Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to our frequently asked questions. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, you are welcome to contact us.  

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General Questions

What is Equine-Assisted Mental Health Therapy? 

Equine Assisted Mental Health (EAMH) therapy is an emerging and effective form of therapeutic intervention that involves engaging with horses in a nature-based setting through experiential activities. This unique approach is facilitated by qualified Equine Assisted Mental Health practitioner, who are not only trained in mental health services but also possess the necessary skills in equine handling.

 

These professionals apply a wide range of psychological and human developmental principles and methods to address the individual treatment needs and goals of each client. At Brumby Equine Assisted Therapy, we also incorporate the model, methods, and principles of Equine Assisted Therapy Australia (EATA) to ensure the delivery of competent and compassionate services.

 

By combining the healing power of horses, experiential learning, and the natural environment, EAMH therapy offers a holistic and transformative approach to mental health treatment. It provides individuals with the opportunity to develop self-awareness, emotional regulation, and interpersonal skills and ultimately promoting overall well-being including personal growth.

What is the difference between Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) and Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT)?

Equine-Assisted Therapy (EAT) is a component of the broader field known as "Equine-Assisted activities and therapies."

EAT incorporates various therapeutic approaches that involve interactions with horses in a natural setting. These services can include equine-assisted mental health therapy activities, as well as non-therapy activities like adaptive riding, where horses are incorporated into physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy sessions.

 

It is important to note that these services are regulated by healthcare laws and must be provided by appropriately educated, trained, and credentialed healthcare professionals. These professionals operate within the scope of their practice and focus on addressing individual treatment goals. They adhere to the highest standards of care to ensure the safety and well-being of the individuals they serve.

 

Equine-Assisted Learning (EAL) is a service that aims to teach valuable life skills, connection and social skills, communication skills, and leadership skills through interactions with horses. This form of learning promotes personal growth and increased self-awareness by engaging individuals in both mounted and non-mounted activities with horses. 

 

It is important to note that EAL services in Australia are not regulated by healthcare laws, ethical guidelines, competency requirements, or specific standards of practice. However, providers of EAL still prioritise the safety and well-being of participants and adhere to their own internal guidelines and best practices to ensure a positive and effective learning experience.

Why horses?

Horses play a unique and powerful role in this emerging form of therapeutic treatment. Equine-assisted interventions have provided compelling evidence of their effectiveness as an alternative to more traditional therapy methods, particularly for clients dealing with attachment, regulatory, and trauma-related issues who may not feel safe or willing to engage in talk-based interventions.

 

Horses, as herd animals and fellow mammals, thrive on relational connection and inclusion. Their strong survival instincts keep them consistently grounded in the present moment. When we engage with horses, they have the remarkable ability to encourage and guide us to also be fully present, living life in the here and now.

 

The energy field of horses creates a safe and accepting environment where individuals can let go of their defences and be vulnerable. It is through this connection that we can acknowledge and embrace our everyday struggles. Horses teach us that it is okay to stay connected, to feel, and to navigate the challenges of life with authenticity and resilience.

 

Sessions

What can I expect in a typical session?

You can expect to feel welcome and safe. You will be supported and guided by both therapist and our equine partner through the duration of your session. Equine-assisted therapy is a natured based therapeutic intervention, which means your therapy session will be outside in nature, with interaction of horses. 

We will collabarete by beginning with focusing on your therapeutic goal. The therapist will work at your pace; a pace that you feel most comfortable with and need at each session. You will be invited to engage at a level that you feel most comfortable and safeYou will be introduced to our therapeutic space and the our herd by the therapist. With each session, you may engage with the horses through mindful grooming, observing horses outside the paddock, leading the horses or simply being in the same space as the horses.

For first time clients please allow 30mins extra to your 60 mins session. This extra time is an opportunity to through a few things that will require your acknowledgement, understanding and also a chance to clarify any concerns or questions. 

Do I need horse experience?

Prior experience with horses is not necessary for this activity. You will be accompanied by a professionally trained equine handler who will guide you through the process. Their expertise ensures that both you and the horses are kept mentally and physically safe at all times.

 

Do I have to handle horses or be very close?

It is not mandatory for you to handle the horses or be in close proximity to them. We prioritise creating a secure environment that allows both humans and equines the freedom to move and express themselves. You are encouraged to engage in activities that you and the horses feel comfortable with, promoting a sense of autonomy for all involved.

How can equine-assisted mental health therapy help me?

Our sessions are carefully designed to cater to each individual's unique therapeutic goals. By working with our horses, you will find a safe and non-judgmental space to share your story. Equine-assisted mental health therapy offers numerous benefits, including:

 

- Building self-esteem and confidence

- Developing effective communication skills

- Cultivating a sense of self-empowerment

- Learning healthy coping strategies

- Nurturing compassion, empathy, and self-acceptance

- Enhancing self-awareness

- Encouraging personal growth

- Equipping you with the skills needed for healthy relationships

 

There is growing evidence that support the effectivness of Equine-Assisted Mental Health Therapy in treating a wide range of personal and psychological challenges, including:

 

- Depression and anxiety

- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

- Eating disorders

- Autism and Asperger’s 

- ADD and ADHD

- Substance abuse

- Relationship difficulties

- Low self-esteem

- Stress

- Bullying - both for the committer and the victim 

- Attachment issues, including adoption adjustment

- Negative behavioural challenges

 

Our aim is to provide a therapeutic experience that supports your healing journey and helps you overcome these challenges. Our horses play a crucial role in facilitating this process, offering a unique and powerful form of therapy.

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