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.
To find out how much a private indoor arena would cost, read the article.