For many clients struggling with issues of addiction, there is a need for more than traditional talk therapy. TLR offers a unique equine therapy program that allows clients to connect and build a relationship with a horse of their choosing from our herd.
The genuine, nonjudgmental, and accepting nature of horses provides the bridge to connect in a positive, authentic way. Our equine assisted therapy program in Texas includes both individual and group sessions, ground and mounted work. Clients practice skills to calm their body and mind giving them practical experience to handle the stress and chaos of life without using substances.
Clients are empowered by their success with horses and discover novel ways of being in relationship to aid in their recovery.
“Equine helped me calm my mind and feel my emotions.”
“The horse helped me see deeper into my trust issues.”
“I learned how to set boundaries and that I need to set them.”
“I learned how to connect internally with myself and the horse.”
“Equine helped me look at my emotions and how they affect others in my relationships.”
“I sat through my anxiety and fear with the horse.”
A Unique Program
The Last Resort has honed a unique methodology, unlike any other equine assisted therapy programs in Texas offered at drug and alcohol treatment centers. Our programs combine 12 step work with physically/emotionally safe experiences with horses and a sound theoretical approach informed by current neurobiology research of the addicted brain.
For many clients struggling with issues of addiction, there is a need for more than traditional evidence based treatment. Our unique equine assisted therapy program meets these needs.
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)
EAP at The Last Resort is not your typical trail ride with a monotonous, unengaged animal. We believe that healing takes place in the context of a relationship. Addiction causes interpersonal difficulties and for many clients, they have found that a relationship with a substance is better and more predictable than with humans.
Many who struggle with addiction lose contact with themselves, as well as others, and turn to substances as a coping mechanism. The nature of a horse is to seek connection and respond to authenticity. Our EAP model focuses on building a relationship with the client-horse-therapist to repair interpersonal connections often underlying addiction.
At The Last Resort, horses are not merely tools, but vehicles to form a true connection with our clients. The genuine, nonjudgmental, and accepting nature of horses provides the bridge to connect with others in a positive, authentic way. Equine assisted therapy helps reform bonds of compassion and love.
An Innovative Experiential Approach
Neuroscience reveals that sensory input, specifically rhythmic, repetitive motion (such as on the back of a horse) is effective at forming new neural pathways in the brain. In EAP sessions, clients consistently practice self-regulation which gives them the skills to calm their body and enable them to cognitively process more clearly.
In addition to groundwork, our programs use mounted work to provide the sensory movement that organizes the brain and produces new neural pathways for change. Equine assisted therapy provides this sensory stimulation and movement necessary. Therefore, by engaging different areas of the brain, clients begin the cognitive process of understanding what their needs are. This starts them exploring healthy ways to meet them.
The novelty of our EAP experience promotes change as old belief systems are challenged while mastery and confidence are gained. Clients are empowered by their success with horses, new interests are explored, and novel ways of being in a relationship are discovered. Unlike talk therapy, EAP brings clients out of autopilot, dissociation, and distraction to engage with their 1,200-pound horse partner week after week.
EAP has been shown to have more rapid therapeutic response rates because of the direct, powerful approach and intimate relational aspects. EAP teaches clients the skills to handle the stress and chaos of life without using substances.
Equine Therapy Benefits
Equine therapy has many benefits for clients, especially those who have trouble connecting with others or those who struggle with self-care. The Last Resort’s equine assisted therapy program in Texas also helps individuals learn how to care for another living thing and, in turn, themselves. Other benefits include:
- Decreases anxiety/depression
- Novelty, mastery, achievement
- Provides sensory input
- Experiential (thinking, doing, problem-solving)
- Interactive, challenging and fun
- Sense of control /agency
- Increases self-esteem, confidence
- Instills hope
- Felt body awareness activates the mind
- Emotionally and spiritually stimulating
- Practice regulating emotions
- Overcome fears
Equine Therapy at The Last Resort
When it comes to addiction, traditional methods aren’t always the best for everyone. Equine assisted therapy is an innovative and proven way for individuals to connect with others, express themselves, and overcome their addictions. We also offer other programs to help clients face addiction, including:
To learn more about equine therapy and how you can get involved, call The Last Resort Recovery today at 877-287-0785. A healthier, happier life is waiting for you if you call today.