EQUINE ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY IS AN INNOVATIVE TECHNIQUE TO TREAT STRESS, DEPRESSION AND ADDICTION PROBLEMS. AT THE CITA CLINIC WE ARE, PRECISELY, THE FIRST EQUINOTHERAPY CENTER IN SPAIN THAT HAS USED THIS TECHNIQUE FOR THE TREATMENT OF ADDICTIONS
Did you know that Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (ECP) is indicated to treat stress, anxiety, depression or addiction problems? Horse therapy is based on the use of the horse as a valuable therapeutic element to treat different physical and mental disorders and is a valuable resource for detoxification and addiction rehabilitation. The most popular treatments of equine therapy are therapies with autistic children, hyperactive children or with Down syndrome, also therapies with adolescents who show behavioral disorders or with difficulties in socialization.
Less well known, but no less effective, is its use to aid in addiction rehabilitation. In the CITA clinics we have used ECP to work effectively in cases of addiction to cocaine, alcohol, cannabis, heroin, benzodiazepines, gambling, tobacco, for cases of dual pathologies and in the treatment of behavioral addictions
WHAT DOES IT CONSIST OF?
In equine-assisted psychotherapy (PAE), horses are a tool for learning values and attitudes and for emotional growth. Equine Assisted Psychotherapy consists of participating in different activities with horses and later elaborating the emotions, behaviors and behavior patterns that this interaction has generated, so that positive and lasting changes are obtained.
These activities are carried out on the ground, so no previous experience with horses is necessary and, of course, does not imply any type of danger for the patient.
The objectives to be achieved are: discipline, creativity, control and management of situations, increase of trust and empathy, etc.
CITA IS A PIONEERING CENTER IN THIS TREATMENT
CITA has been for years, and continues to be today, a pioneer in the use of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy for the treatment of addictions. At CITA we use a high-quality treatment model that requires this therapy to be performed by a team made up of a mental health professional and an equine specialist.
A PRIVILEGED THERAPY
Horses require work, either taking care of them or working with them. In an age of immediate gratification, horses require physical and mental commitment, a valuable trait in all aspects of life.
More importantly, horses have the ability to accurately reflect what the patient’s body language is telling them. Some will complain that “the horse is stubborn” or that “the horse does not like me”, and so on. But the lesson to be learned is that, if we change, the horses will respond differently. Horses are honest and this makes them powerful and effective interlocutors.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EQUINE ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY AND EQUINE THERAPY
Although being with horses, whether riding, for leisure or for sport, is certainly beneficial from a physical and emotional point of view, ECP offers the following benefits to those suffering from mental, emotional and behavioral problems: