woman standing with horse for equine therapy The process of rehabilitation during drug and alcohol recovery is a physically, emotionally and spiritually difficult time. Much of the focus of drug and alcohol rehab is on treating physical withdrawal symptoms and minimizing cravings; however, the emotional needs of a patient need to be addressed as well for long-term success.

Equine therapy has been used in the U.S. as an effective form of rehab treatment since the 1960s. It’s widely accepted that bonds formed between people and animals can have wide-ranging positive effects such as providing a sense of comfort and building trust. Just look at any household that has a dog or cat as a pet. Equine therapy simply uses horses as the vehicle to initiate a patient’s healing process and build self-confidence.

Who is Best Suited for Equine Therapy?

At Beachside Rehab, we recognize that every patient responds differently to different types of treatment. That’s why we offer a wide range of holistic healing services such as art and music therapy and equine therapy. While all holistic services are available to all patients, some patients may feel uncomfortable with the group setting in music therapy or may shy away from expressing his or her creative side in art therapy.

Equine therapy is great for patients drawn to the serenity and beauty of horses. It’s a non-threatening and soothing treatment that allows patients to spend quality one-on-one time with horses. By spending time with horses on a regular basis, patients build strong emotional bonds with these magnificent creatures.

Many people with drug or alcohol addictions come from troubled homes and have a history of abusive relationships. We find that these patients respond especially well to equine therapy.

The Benefits of Equine Therapy

The benefits of equine therapy are wide-ranging and long-lasting.

  • Helps build trust. Addiction wreaks havoc on everybody’s life that it touches, from the person struggling with it, to close friends and family. It can be difficult to try to mend relationships with people.  By spending time with a horse, a patient can practice forging a new relationship with a creature that is non-judgmental and accepting.
  • Builds empathy. Having empathy for others is a trait that is fostered over time through equine therapy. Learning to care for the horse’s needs by feeding and brushing it is a great way to begin thinking about the needs of people as well.
  • Strengthens self-confidence. Over time, a patient’s self-esteem and confidence blossoms once a healthy, positive bond has been formed with a horse. This provides the building blocks and confidence to mend relationships with loved ones as well.

Through equine therapy, patients recovering from alcohol or substance abuse can slowly begin to rebuild the self-confidence, empathy, and trust needed to mend broken relationships in their personal lives. Contact Beachside Rehab to find out how we can design a holistic therapy treatment plan for you.