What is EAP?
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) integrates several psychological approaches with the use of one or more horses. The focus of EAP is not riding or horsemanship, but rather on self-exploration, insight, skills building, and learning. A specialized treatment team of a licensed Mental Health Specialist, a certified Equine Specialist and one or more Horses work with clients in an experiential manner to help them learn about themselves and others, while processing or discussing feelings, behaviors, and patterns. The goal is to help the client in social, emotional, cognitive, or behavioral ways and allows the client(s) to learn from natural successes, mistakes, and consequences.
Do you have to know how to ride horses to attend a session?
No riding nor horse experience is necessary. In fact, right now all sessions are done with the client(s) on the ground interacting with the horse(s). We hope in the near future to have a riding component to our program, but even then, no riding experience will be necessary to for this form of EAP.
Why EAP vs. in-office counseling?
Horses provide vast opportunities for metaphorical learning, an effective technique when working with even the most challenging individuals or groups. EAP also provides an experiential means in which the client can identify and address a range of emotional and behavioral challenges and learn healthy and appropriate skills to address these challenges.
How many sessions does it typically take?
We often recommend sessions once a week for a minimum of 12-16 weeks. The exact number of sessions, however, varies client to client depending on each individual’s goals for treatment. Your specialized treatment team will collaborate with you to create a plan of care to meet your specific needs and together you will decide how often to meet and for how long.
Does insurance cover an EAP session?
Your insurance may cover part of your sessions depending on if your licensed Mental Health Specialist accepts your insurance, but your insurance will not cover the Equine Specialist or our horses. Therefore, there is an out of pocket expense for treatment.
Please feel free to check with us to see if financial assistance is available at this time (all assistance is provided through donations, therefore, we cannot guarantee that current funds are available).
What does it cost?
Cost of sessions vary depending on length of time, programming need and whether it is an individual or group session. Please call for pricing. PLEASE NOTE: Most insurance companies in Ohio do not cover equine assisted psychotherapy therefore we do not bill insurers. Payment is due at the time of service in the form of cash, check or credit card. Patients can then contact their insurance company directly for reimbursement, if applicable. Treatment is a covered benefit under Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA).
What do I wear to a session?
Please dress for the weather and wear closed toe shoes that wrap around your entire foot and wear clothing items you are comfortable getting dirty. Boots are recommended.
Can I bring the horse treats?
Please do not feed the horses. They are well cared for by our team of equine specialists.
Are the horses trained?
The horses are not trained to react or respond in any certain way for EAP sessions. We do work with them to build their confidence around different objects that may be used in sessions (i.e.; swim noodles, tarps, cones, balls, barrels, etc.), they do have at least basic training in ground skills and riding skills, and each horse is worked with daily so that the treatment team knows each of their personalities and can monitor their needs.
We want our horses to respond or react to clients naturally, as this is the gift they bring to clients in sessions. They naturally respond to each other in the herd and desire to be in relationship. When a client enters the space with the horse(s), the horse(s) will react in relationship to the client providing amazing opportunities for transformation.
What does a typical session look like?
A typical session will consist of meeting with your Mental Health Specialist, Equine Specialist, and horse(s) for about 60 min. During this time, your treatment team will provide you an experience with the horse(s) and based on your interaction with the horse(s) the team may ask questions about what happened and/or help you process any insights you experienced to help you achieve your treatment goals.
Your Mental Health Specialist and Equine Specialist will always be the same, but horses may vary depending on what type of EAP sessions you and your team decide are appropriate for your goals.
What types of EAP do you offer?
Our treatment team members utilize two forms of EAP, a metaphor-based technique from the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) and a relationship-based, trauma-focused technique from Natural Lifemanship (TF-EAP™).
For more information about each technique click below: