The Use of Equine Therapy in Addiction Treatment

The Use of Equine Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Healing Connections Between Humans and Horses

Holistic addiction treatment is at the core of Purpose Healing Center’s process in Scottsdale. And in addition to established treatments like Intervention, Intensive Outpatient Treatment, Partial Hospitalization Program, and Sober Living Facilities, we offer unique modalities such as equine therapy, sometimes called horse-assisted therapy.

This type of therapy falls under the umbrella of Animal-Assisted Therapy, in which a person interacts with an animal, such as a therapy dog, in order to help process psychological and emotional issues, in addition to traditional therapies.

Keep reading to learn more about this form of therapy, and its uses in addiction and trauma treatment, as well as for those with co-occurring disorders!

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What are the Benefits of Equine Therapy for Addiction?

While equine therapy is a fairly recent development in treatment for psychological issues, studies suggest that it can be very beneficial. One study published in 2015, found that horse-assisted therapy (HAT) significantly helped young adults with substance abuse issues when combined with traditional methods of healing.

This study used both horses and other farm animals as a comparison. It indicates that Animal-Assisted Therapy, especially that which includes horses, when used in combination with other forms of therapy, can significantly improve a person’s self-esteem and ability to deal with difficult situations.

The Connections Between Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Since drug and alcohol addiction is classified as a mental health disorder, and since many people who struggle with addictions also suffer from another mental issue, this study suggests that equine therapy can be useful to people undergoing addiction treatment.

Equine therapy focuses on teaching people how to interact with horses. Since horses are pack animals, they are able to sense and respond to other animals’ feelings, including humans. Specifically, they can detect when a person feels scared, angry, happy, sad, or nervous. So equine therapy can be useful to people going through addiction treatment.

In many cases, particularly for trauma sufferers, the ability to relate to, and care for, a horse can be a bridge to connecting with themselves again.

The Unique Place of Equine Assisted Therapy for PTSD and Trauma

While more comprehensive studies need to be done, a collection of research on the efficacy of equine-assisted therapy to support recovery for those suffering from substance use disorders alongside other mental health diagnoses (such as depression, bipolar, PTSD, CPTSD, etc) is promising.

Alongside our other trauma treatment approaches, Purpose Healing Centers embraces trauma-informed practices in all that we do. Too often addiction treatment practices center their efforts on the substance being used, and tools related to remaining abstinent. While this is absolutely vital, it is also essential to address the root causes that led to compulsive use or drinking in the first place.

Without addressing the underlying causes of addiction, the chances of lasting, fulfilling sobriety are diminished considerably. This is why, alongside our complete continuum of care, Purpose is proud to offer trauma and PTSD-centered models as a way of improving outcomes for our clients.

Equine Therapy In Scottsdale and Phoenix

Equine Therapy In Scottsdale and Phoenix

Equine therapy is a great option for people looking for therapies to complement their addiction treatment. We offer equine therapy for addiction, with facilities in Scottsdale and as well as Phoenix. Along with traditional addiction treatment and therapy, equine therapy can give a person the confidence and skills they need to live a fulfilling life free from addiction.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction and looking for ways to get help, contact us at Purpose Healing Center today. We’re here 24 hours a day to answer your questions.

Make the confidential call today to get proven treatment options at Purpose Healing Center today!