Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Program
from the CERTS Group

Equine assisted psychotherapy is proven effective for a wide range of mental health disorders, including addiction, depression, eating disorders, anxiety and trauma. This allows girls to interact and connect with horses. Through this connection, girls can process emotions and explore problematic behaviors and relationship patterns. At the CERTS Group, we believe in the benefits of Equine assisted psychotherapy for coping with negative emotions.

Teaching Girls to Identify and Cope with Feelings

Girls who struggle with addictions, trauma and mental health issues often engage in damaging behaviors to avoid negative emotions. They might use drugs or engage in compulsive behaviors like sex, eating, drinking or gambling to numb their sadness, anger, fear or even joy. For therapy to be successful, girls must learn to identify emotions, experience them and cope without looking for an escape.

EAP helps girls address thoughts and feelings. When interacting with a horse, they must use their bodies and hearts to feel and react in the moment. Horses can sense emotions like aggression and anger, and may become stubborn in response. If someone is anxious, the horse might also be nervous. When the horse is approached by someone who is calm and open, it is more likely to respond in a kind and loving way.

Improved Communication and Overcoming Fears

Girls who are struggling with addiction and other behavioral issues are often emotionally underdeveloped. These individuals might struggle relating with or getting close to other people, but they can form close bonds with horses and other animals. Girls will realize their conscious and unconscious interaction patterns when they work with horses. EAP is also a great way for girls to address issues like detachment and enmeshment (unclear boundaries in a relationship).

In addition, horses are large and imposing animals, which can bring up fears, past trauma, feelings of inadequacy or lack of control. Girls may worry that the horse won’t like them, won’t choose them or could harm them. Equine therapy teaches patients how to tolerate and process the emotions instead of giving into old habits. This is a safe environment to face fears, overcome challenges and build confidence.

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At the CERTS Group, we can help your daughter cope with the effects of ADHD, depression, eating disorders, anxiety and other issues through residential treatment programs. Our programs are structured around DBT treatment, while also combining traditional talk therapy with experiential therapies like equine assisted psychotherapy, to achieve a resilient, more influential change. Contact us to learn more.

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