PATASKALA, OHIO, NOVEMBER 18, 2014 – Equine assisted therapy has emerged as an effective, proven therapy for a broad range of mental, emotional and behavioral issues. In response, Otterbein University and Ohio State University are now offering studies in equine assisted therapy. Both institutions consulted Holly Jedlicka in the development of the programs.
Holly Jedlicka, MSW, LISW-S , is the Executive Director of PBJ Connections, Inc., the only equine assisted psychotherapy provider in central Ohio with full-time staff. Equine assisted therapy is a powerful learning experience in which a client completes therapeutically directed ground based tasks with a horse. Led by a facilitator, the client learns about themselves as they work with the horse.
Jedlicka consulted with Otterbein University to develop an equine assisted therapy minor in their Equine Science Department. Individual classes have been held in the past and will be held this spring on equine assisted therapies and therapeutic riding. The hope is that the minor will be in place within the next year or two.
In addition, PBJ Connection is in its fourth year of partnering with Otterbein University to provide school based group therapy to Westerville City Schools students. As part of the Westerville City School’s North Pointe program, two high school classes and one middle school class attends equine assisted programs for 18 weeks throughout the academic year. The sessions will be held at Otterbein’s Austin E. Knowlton Center for Equine Science facility under the direction of PBJ Connections’ staff.
Jedlicka also guest lectured on using equine assisted psychotherapy with clients on the Autism Spectrum and for grief work as part of The Ohio State University’s new course on equine assisted therapy. PBJ Connections, Inc. and OSU have also entered into a new partnership in conjunction with Madison Plain Local Schools. Fourth and fifth graders will attend sessions focused on leadership, empowerment and self-esteem issues using OSU’s Sawmill Road Equine facility. There they will take part in non-riding, powerful learning experiences in which the students will complete therapeutically directed ground based tasks with a horse. The program will start this fall with girls attending sessions for 10 weeks and continue with boys in the spring attending for 10 weeks.
PBJ Connections Board President