Teen Equine Therapy

The Benefits of Equine Therapy

Teen Equine-Assisted Therapy (EAT) is one of the many effective tools we use to treat mental health and substance abuse at Paradigm San Francisco. This versatile therapy is used to treat the symptoms of depression and anxiety in teens with a wide variety of disorders, including behavioral disorders, brain injuries, developmental conditions and many others.

Equine-based therapies are widely recognized and have been used in the mental health field around the world. They are especially useful when treating teens who are resistant to therapy or have approached treatment with a combative attitude

Equine therapy serves a number of different purposes, especially in the treatment of teenagers. Horse professionals and mental health therapists work together with each teen. This gives them the opportunity to learn new skills while at the same time interacting with each other in a less stressful, rigid environment. Throughout the course of their time together, your teen’s therapist will be able to diagnose and work to find coping mechanisms for a wide variety of mental and emotional challenges.

Teens struggling with mental health and substance abuse disorders spend quite a bit of time working with their therapists to identify the root cause of their issues as well as new coping mechanisms. Many teens who have been struggling become self-conscious and have been subject to bullying and mistreatment. Throughout their EAT sessions, many teens develop improved self-awareness, better emotional control, new levels of empathy and refined impulse control. They also become more assertive, flexible, and empathetic while at the same time learning to build stronger relationships with others.

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Teen Equine Therapy

A Sense of Calm

One of the reasons teen equine therapy is so effective is the temperament of horses. Horses are amazing creatures with a very gentle nature; they are very sensitive and have a tendency to mirror the behaviors of the people they are around. This makes therapy sessions with counselors or therapists very interesting, as teens struggling to work with these creatures generally get a glimpse at the way their own behaviors and attitudes impact their interactions with others. Their experiences can be later built upon during talk therapy sessions.

Horses don’t judge the humans around them, nor do they have any expectations for their interactions with people. The teens who work with them learn acceptance and compassion while at the same time accepting responsibility for the horse they are working with. The horse’s accepting attitude will ultimately teach the teens working with them to learn to accept themselves as they are. They’ll also help them to see that they can have healthy, positive relationships with others.

What Conditions Can Be Treated with Equine Therapy?

Equine therapy has been used to treat quite a number of conditions. They include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Addictions and dependencies
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Autism
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Eating disorders
  • Genetic disorders
  • Grief and trauma
  • Learning disabilities
  • Traumatic brain injuries

Teen equine therapy is just one of the programs offered at Paradigm San Francisco. Your teen will enjoy a relaxing atmosphere while at the same time building better relational skills on both a verbal and non-verbal level. Your teen will slowly but surely let go of their old belief systems and habits while finding new enjoyment in the company of others.

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