Solution Focused Therapy in the EAGALA Model of Equine Assisted Therapy
At Inner Equine Journeys the EAGALA Model of Equine Therapy is one of the therapeutic modalities we incorporate into our therapy work with clients. The EAGALA Model believes that whether it is their relationship with the horses or their relationship to people, places, things, or concepts in their lives, clients have their own best solutions if given the opportunity to discover them.
Inner Equine founder, Lori Thompson is a Registered Nurse and has been practicing in the area of Mental Health for over 21 years. She has added education in Forensics, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy through EAGALA, Equine Assisted Personal Development through the Chris Irwin Institute of Equine Arts, Equine Assisted Learning through Higher Trails and Equine Facilitated Wellness through NEFWA.
“In our EAGALA Model therapy, horsemanship is not the focus. The sessions are primarily facilitated with observation statements, reflective listening and question asking. The horse task set up for the clients is never the goal; rather our focus is the process. The growth and learning occurs through the journey not at the end goal.
We center on asking questions and allow the client to find their own answers. We recognize the importance of not getting in the way and instructing the participant, as this denies them the opportunity to discover their own growth and learning. This aspect of the EAGALA Model can result in incredible outcomes when clients experience the joy and confidence that comes with discovering their own ideas and solutions.”
For more information on EAGALA go to www.eagala.org.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) & How CBT Fits In The Equine Environment
CBT operates under the assumption that our thoughts are responsible for our feelings and our feelings drive our behaviours. Therefore by changing our thoughts about an event or person, we are able to change our feelings and subsequently our actions. CBT is one of the most widely researched therapeutic approaches and is one of the few that is considered evidence based.
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) offers the opportunity to take CBT and put it into motion. In the arena with horses, in the moment, clients are following a pattern of thinking, feeling and behaving. EAP brings CBT to life. This makes it appealing and accessible to even the most resistant client.
Horses are very reactionary animals and coupled with their prey animal behaviours they are excellent at bringing to life the concepts of CBT. In addition, problem solving activities with horses are designed to help clients learn important cognitive-behavioural skills in a hands-on, experiential setting that allows for learning to occur. CBT and horses is currently being used with a number of demographics such as at risk youth, eating disorders programs, addictions programs and Horses and Heroes programs which work with veterans.
At Inner Equine Journeys we have worked with Inpatient Mental Health Units, Mental Health Group Homes, Out-Patient Mental Health Clients, Mental Health Day Programs and At Risk Youth. We are happy to provide references upon request.
Cost: $60 – Individual session or $300 – 6 individual sessions
Group sessions: Contact Lori for dates and pricing
If you would like to learn more about one of these programs Inner Equine will provide a free demonstration. Please call or email for an appointment.