Presentation on Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Trauma

Posted on May 5, 2012 in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, News | Comments Off

Presentation on Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Trauma

The Tennessee Licensed Professional Counselor’s Association held their 6th Annual Conference on April 27th entitled “Waves of Change.” Rebecca Bauer, Equine Specialist and Founding Director of The Sage Horse and Susan Lutz, PATH, Int’l Region 5 Rep, Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist presented “Equine Assisted Psychotherapy: A Team Approach.” They gave an overview of the Equine Assisted Activities industry, as well as, discussed the value of the horse and equine specialist in psychotherapy and how the team approach creates a dynamic learning and therapeutic environment.

Dede Beasley followed with a fantastic presentation:  “Facilitating Healing Through Equine Assisted Psychotherapy for Trauma Survivors.”  Much of Dede’s work involves helping those suffering from trauma and where horses are brought in to allow for experiences of healing.  The pictures below were taken as a demonstration of working with a client and equine specialist.  Mandy, Dede’s wonderful Welsh-cross pony, and her partners faced a challenging obstacle where they learned to face the “monster” and work through fear and uncertainty.  

Trauma can result in a person’s response to avoid a situation and revert back to a protective state, or, as Dede labels it, a “flip-back.” Working with horses can help address a person’s emotional response when reminded of a past traumatic experience. The relationship that begins to establish between the horse and client can represent a past relationship and mirror the client’s own response to that relationship.  The horse gives feedback to the present emotional state of the client and as the client recognizes this feedback  and learns to regulate their emotions they also begin to reestablish trust.  Trust, being the key factor that the horse has instinctively helped establish for the client.    

More on Dede Beasley here.