Equine Therapy for Drug & Alcohol Abuse

A Horse is a Projection of Peoples' Dreams About Themselves

horsesThere are many different options for addicts in regards to drug and alcohol treatment. Most inpatient treatment facilities features a wide range of services including chemical detoxification, residential treatment programs, and behavioral therapy to name a few. While these services are extremely effective in helping addicts overcome their addiction and regain their lives, these programs have their limits on the benefits they provide. In cases where clients are having difficulty moving forward in their journey to recovery, having alternative therapy options may help them move past those barriers that are holding them back.

For those individuals that are having difficulty in drug treatment, many find that equine therapy can be extremely helpful in helping them gain control over their addiction. Increasingly, equine therapy programs are becoming more and more common at various substance abuse treatment centers worldwide. Dream Center for Recovery’s large, well-appointed thoroughbred equestrian center plays an important role in our overall drug and alcohol rehab program.

What is Equine Therapy?

Simply defined, equine therapy is the use of horses in a therapy-based treatment setting. The use of this type of therapy allow clients to experience emotional growth and personal development. Along with other forms of animal-centered therapies, equine therapy has been effective in a variety of treatment scenarios for children, adolescents, and adults. Individuals who participate in equine therapy while recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction often experience several life changing benefits and working with horses can be seen as a complementary part of a comprehensive treatment plan. As stated previously, equine therapy is especially useful in treating people who have not shown improvement with other types of drug rehab treatment, such as therapy or counseling.

How Dream Center for Recovery’s Equine Therapy Program Works

slide2Horses offer unique opportunities for emotional growth because they have the uncanny ability to precisely mirror what human body language is communicating to them. In general, we are able to hide our feelings pretty well from those around us, and this is especially true with those addicted to drugs and alcohol. Horses are extremely honest creatures that are able to mirror emotions and attitudes and are able to see us at face value and they understand at the deepest levels who we really are as human beings. This provides a unique opportunity for our clients to understand how their behaviors affect themselves and others as well as develop new ways of thinking about old behavior patterns.

During equine therapy sessions, clients interact with a horse in a series of exercises carefully designed to develop and enhance verbal and non-verbal communication, problem solving, leadership, creative thinking, relationship skills, trust, confidence and responsibility. With equine therapy, the addict develops a relationship with the horse while tending to its basic needs. The horse’s needs include feeding, grooming, and exercise. Learning to saddle the horse may also part of the process.

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Why is Equine Therapy Effective in Helping Those Struggling with Addiction?

Dream Center for Recovery utilizes equine therapy because it provides addicts with a number of benefits that traditional counseling and therapy alone cannot provide. For example, equine therapy helps addicts to replacing those unhealthy and destructive habits that led to and perpetuated their addiction. Addicts who take part in our equine therapy program will learn to take responsibility and maintain a regular schedule. Combined with therapy and counseling, this combination will encourage and empower clients to examine the choices they make now and in the future.

horsebackOur equine program helps improve an addict’s self-worth and self-esteem. Many of those who struggle with substance abuse will experience significant feelings of inadequacy and diminished self-confidence. By working with horses in a structured therapy setting, it can help boost an individual’s sense of confidence and dignity. As they establish a relationship with the horse, it allows them to gain the horse’s trust and unconditional love. These feelings the horse shows towards the addict can be new experiences and those emotions and feelings can be powerfully affirming. Ultimately, the newly recovering addict often feels a great sense of accomplishment during these sessions.

Additionally, working with horses also teaches addicts how to be more effective in managing their behaviors. Addiction is frequently accompanied by aggressive or violent tendencies or behaviors. These behaviors often end up endangering the patient, as well as his or her loved ones. As addicts learn to communicate with and care for the horse, they begin to understand how the horse reacts to their moods and attitudes. The horse’s reaction to the addict’s behavior helps them distinguish between hurtful or harmful behaviors and acceptable ways of asserting themselves.

All of the beautiful Thoroughbred horses that find home within Dream Center for Recovery’s equestrian center are fostered through Florida Thoroughbred Retirement and Adoptive Care (www.fltrac.org ) whose mission is to provide retired thoroughbred racehorses with a second career and renewed sense of love and belonging. Clients are welcomed and encouraged to visit the equestrian center at any point during their free time to get to know these majestic creatures better through feeding, care and grooming. When they do so, they can connect with a kindred spirit in need of a renewed sense of love and belonging.

Dream Center for Recovery’s Equine Therapy Program Can Help You Find Freedom from Addiction

upside down horse

If you are seeking drug and alcohol treatment, you want to find a drug treatment facility which employs a wide variety of therapeutic and treatment methods that will give you the best chance at achieving long-term recovery. Dream Center for Recovery’s equine therapy program can provide you an excellent opportunity to work with animals while experiencing substantial growth that will help you move away from a life of addiction and towards one of confidence, inner peace and serenity.

Contact Dream Center for Recovery  today at 1-877-978-3148 and experience the enormous impacts that our equine therapy program, along with our other therapeutic programming, can have on your life.

Dream Center for Recovery

In addition to over 6,000 square feet of newly renovated clinical office space, Dream Center provides an extraordinary residential living facility that is set among 8 spacious acres and filled with an abundance of all things natural- trees, plants, fruits, vegetables, eggs, horses and more- that together provides clients with a true fresh start from the toxic world of drugs & alcohol.