Equine therapy is one of the most effective tools therapists rely on when working with adolescents. Teen equine therapy services can help teens engage with the world around them while building self-confidence and a positive self-image. Contact Foothills at Red Oak Recovery today at 866.300.5275 to get started.
How Equine Therapy Services Work
Equine therapy services are options that belong to the therapeutic category of experiential therapy. This category of psychotherapy relies on the use of recreational activities to help teens focus on and identify their feelings.
Equine therapy treatment for teens encourages adolescent boys to learn horse caretaking skills. Horses are especially sensitive animals that react to mood changes in other horses and people. Working with horses helps teens learn emotional regulation and impulse control skills.
Equine therapy can be a good option for teens struggling with:
- Trauma and PTSD
- Substance use disorders
- Personality disorders
- Eating disorders
Equine therapy treatment for teens also helps with physical responses to stress and anxiety. Working with horses can help reduce blood pressure, decrease heart rates, and lower cortisol levels.
Is Your Teen a Candidate for Equine Therapy?
Any teen can be a candidate for equine therapy. Working with horses offers therapeutic benefits for teens of all ages, backgrounds, and settings.
Equine therapy is an effective option for individual therapy sessions, where teens can focus on communicating with the animal and building a connection.
It is also an excellent therapy option for group settings because it teaches teens how to work with their peers and horses. Group equine sessions can help teenagers develop leadership skills and increase cooperation.
Teens who have personality disorders are excellent candidates for equine therapy. Most personality disorders make communicating more difficult for teens. Horses are herd animals that constantly send overt and subtle signals to their group. An essential element of horse communication is their ability to mirror the emotions of other horses as well as humans.
During equine therapy, horses are free to move around and interact with the humans they feel comfortable with, which encourages teens to focus on recognizing and adjusting the energy they send out into the world.
Since horses mirror emotions, they allow teens with personality disorders to see the impact of their behavior on others, which teaches them to regulate emotions and increase their empathy.
Trauma and PTSD
Teens who have suffered trauma and have PTSD, anxiety disorders, or depression can also benefit from learning mindfulness skills in equine therapy.
In order to bond and communicate effectively with a horse, teens have to live in the present and focus only on what is currently around them. Mindfulness skills can become routine, helping teens manage anxiety disorders or trauma.
Horses also have a calming influence on the body by reducing cortisol, the stress hormone. Decreased stress levels make it easier for therapy sessions to have a positive impact on your teen’s mental health.
Substance Use Disorders
Teens struggling with substance use disorders can also benefit from equine therapy. Working with horses can help your teenager avoid focusing on cravings or the stressors that may have prompted them to begin using substances.
Is Your Teen a Candidate for Equine Therapy? Foothills at Red Oak Recovery Can Help
If your teenage boy struggles with mental health conditions, including substance use disorders, we can help. We offer a variety of therapeutic options, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and experiential therapy.
Equine therapy is one of the options that can benefit teens the most, no matter what mental health concerns they struggle with. Contact Foothills at Red Oak Recovery today at 866.300.5275 to get started.