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Everything you need to know about Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy.


What is it?

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, or ‘EAP,’ is a form of psychological therapy that makes use of horse and the human-horse relationship as a tool for psychological therapy.

It has been used to help people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, people with self-confidence and anxiety issues, anti-social issues and other mental health issues.

How does it work?

EAP involves having clients interact with horses and developing a working relationship. For clients with specific psychological challenges, the relationship to the horse is used as a model to explore specific difficulties and help the client overcome internal challenges.

EAP is conducted in sessions, and these sessions move at a pace that best benefits the client.

How can I become a client?

EAP practitioners offer individual sessions, group sessions and workshops. Prices vary between offerings and between practitioners, but an hourly rate can be as much as $240 per hour.

Is it effective?

EAP is relatively new, but the majority of research finds that it is linked with positive outcomes for clients, especially children.


How can I become a practitioner?

The Equine Psychotherapy Institute offers two courses, each involving foundational training of 126 hours, and advanced training of 240 hours.

  • For people who are already registered psychotherapists, psychologists, mental health nurses or other mental health practitioners, a course is offered which qualifies the student as an Equine Psychotherapy Practitioner.

(Become a mental health professional usually takes about 6 years; 3 in undergraduate, 1 in honours and 2 in masters)

  • For people passionate about horses, but with no psychology qualifications, a course is offered which qualifies the student as an Equine Learning Practitioner, but not a therapist.

Each course involves thorough training, including the submission of papers and completion of exams.


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