Psychotherapy Integrating Equine Services

What is Psychotherapy Integrating Equine Services?
(Formerly called Equine Assisted Psychotherapy or EAP)

And how can it help me?

Psychotherapy Integrating Equine Services (PIES) is based on the neuroscience of human and horse brain development, the impact of trauma, and the role of relationships in recovery and healing. Tammy is trained in Natural Lifemanship's intensive therapeutic processes. At her facility, horses are provided each session to teach principles for building connected partnerships with horses in ways that are readily transferable to human relationships. Each session may include basic horse activities such as grooming, feeding, and ground training as well as more strategic equine experiential activities that help focus on the determined treatment goals of each individual client. Sessions are co-facilitated with a certified professional that is trained in the foundation of specialized care, and the relationship principles we’ve found effective in helping humans and horses connect in ways that heal and transform both.

Addresses a variety of mental health and human development

  • Learning Difficulties
  • ADD & ADHD
  • Behavioral Disorders
  • Bullying & Boundary Issues
  • Absent/Divorced Partners
  • Depression
  • Abuse & Neglect
  • Impulsiveness
  • Poor Coping Skills
  • Post Traumatic Stress
  • Asperger Syndrome
  • Grief & Loss Issues
  • Drug & Alcohol Use
  • Poor Decision-Making
  • Issues with Authority
  • Stress Management
  • Anxiety Disorders

Equine Professional: Reccia Jobe, MBA, NLC-EP

  • Natural Lifemanship EP, trainer and blog contributor
  • Over 12 years co-facilitating TF- EAP sessions
  • 15 years experience in therapeutic work with traumatized populations, especially youth and teens
  • Lifetime experience working with horses under tutelage of father, Tim Jobe
  • Trained and formerly certified in EAGALA, the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics, and as a ropes course facilitator

History of EAP

Equine therapy was first used as a formal practice by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) in 1969, and was aimed primarily at those with physical disabilities. Hippotherapy was first style of treatment used by therapists by observing the patient riding the horse and making observations every physical expression. It wasn’t long before the mental and emotional benefits of horse therapy were discovered, and the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) began offering certification in equine-facilitated psychotherapy in 1999. Six years later, the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association (EFMHA) published national standards for mental health professionals wishing to utilize equine therapy in the treatment of their patients.

Since much of this therapeutic process revolves around monitoring the patient’s biofeedback and the horse’s responses to their emotional state. A lot of EAP does not require the patient to ride a horse at all. Instead, they may simply be asked to interact with the horse. Patients might be asked to brush a horse’s mane, get it to walk to a certain location, or clean its hooves. If the patient is calm and collected, these tasks will be relatively easy. If the patient is anxious, hostile, or experiencing any other strong negative emotion, then the horse may be quite resistant. Equine therapy is usually accompanied by a more standard form of therapy. EAP is so beneficial to addicts and others in need of psychotherapy because some patients may have an inclination toward denial. They might absolutely believe that everything is fine with their emotional state, even when it is not. When the horse picks up on the session, the therapist gains insight into the patient’s problem areas.

Overall Benefits

Just like us, horses experience a variety of emotions and are intuitive and social animals with distinct personalities, attitudes, and moods. They have defined roles within their herds comparable to human dynamics. Most importantly, horses mirror exactly what human body language is telling them. If you're impatient, the horse becomes impatient. It is this connection that provides us with metaphors and lessons about ourselves and leads us to change. Horses can teach us self-awareness, healthy boundaries, honest communication, leadership, patience, assertiveness, affection, and more. The main goal of equine therapy is for patients to learn more about themselves, and to work through some of their personal issues in the process.

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