What is Equine Assisted Psychotherapy?
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) at PBJ Connections follows the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) model of therapy. The EAGALA model uses a team of a licensed mental health professional, an equine specialist, and horses or donkeys to provide solution-oriented mental health therapy. The model is also completely non-riding and follows a strict code of ethics.
In EAP sessions, participants are asked to project their feelings and thoughts onto the horses and the environment and then facilitators help them process through difficult situations and issues. Equines are powerful in the therapeutic setting because they are social prey animals. Horses are honest all the time due to of their nature, which means they give honest feedback to participants throughout the session. Their social nature also causes them to interact with the participants as if they are members of their herd and, through their behavior, place them in the hierarchy in which they belong. If participants are not being honest or are incongruent the horses will view them as predators and will interact accordingly, by moving away or protecting themselves.
EAGALA is the leading model of mental health therapy using horses. PBJ Connections is proud to have EAGALA certified staff working directly with clients. For more information on EAGALA visit their web page at www.eagala.org.