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  • Kim Ibiza

Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy

Horses are very honest beings that can offer moments of introspection and feedback to anyone who works with them. Elevate Academy has the unique opportunity for students to engage in equine-assisted psychotherapy as one of the ways to achieve their treatment goals.

In an equine therapy session, students learn from their interactions with the horses by applying it to their lives through metaphors. Themes such as boundary setting, building trust, problem solving, and developing emotional awareness or regulation can be explored from a different perspective. It allows for a space to safely direct attention and insights on to the horses instead of onto the student, which can be much more overwhelming. Horses are able to pick up on what is going on internally and not just what is seen by others. They knock down the barriers students can put up in therapy and assist when students feel stuck.

With the combined assistance of an equine specialist and therapist, students and horses can have experiences together that teach, motivate, and connect. Horses are animals of prey–because of this, they must be very aware of their surroundings and what could potentially be dangerous to them. This requires them to be emotionally intelligent animals, always checking that they are safe through observing the body language and demeanor of those near them. This trait makes them the perfect partner for us as humans to discover more about ourselves and our relationships with others.


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