Equine Therapy and Addiction Treatment

On-Site Equine Therapy

Fraser Valley Treatment Centre, or FVTC, includes equine or horse assisted therapy with most of our addiction treatment programs. Equine addiction therapy enhances mental and substance abuse rehabilitation. Fraser Valley Treatment Centre is one of the few treatment centres in the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland to offer on-site equine therapy.

There are many disorders and addictions that can benefit from equine therapy:

  • Substance Use Disorder -therapy for Substance Abuse -Substance Addiction
  • Mood Disorders - Depression and Bi-polar therapy
  • Anxiety Disorders -- Generalized, Obsessive-Compulsive, Social, Addictive Disorders
  • Trauma -- PTSD from military service, abuses, or otherwise traumatic events
  • Process Addiction - Compulsive Behavior Therapies -- gambling, gaming, sex, shopping, etc.
  • Learning Disorders -- ADHD and Autism (Note: We don't specifically advertise treatment for this category although it is not uncommon for it to be present in those who come for treatment for other disorders.)

For safety reasons of the horse, patient, and facilitators, the following conditions are NOT suitable for equine therapy:

  • People going through detox
  • Severe mental illness or mental retardation
  • People exhibiting any or all symptoms of psychosis
  • Suspected or known psychopathic or violent offenders
At Fraser Valley Treatment Centre, after the men and women struggling with drug and alcohol abuse are detoxed, we can effectively incorporate equine therapy.

What is Equine Therapy?

Equine Therapy is comprised of activities (for example grooming, feeding, haltering and leading a horse) that are guided by an equine therapist or a mental health professional directed by a horse specialist.Despite their size, humans instinctively sense that horses do not harbour the potentially hidden motives that people are capable of. Equine therapy creates a casual atmosphere, with an indirect therapeutic effect, for a less daunting experience than conventional clinical practices.

Interacting with a horse is a non-judgmental connection, when others are unavailable, or rebuffed by the mistrust of others. For those who have difficulty with social interaction, it can be easier to build a successful working relationship with a horse, than it is with the majority of people. Creating an emotional “safe space” is the foundation for equine therapy.

Here are just some of the mental health benefits derived from equine therapy:

  • Aids and-or improves the processing of subconscious feelings
  • Increasedself - emotional - energetic regulation
  • Improves mindful awareness of self and space
  • Improved self-esteem and image
  • Assists social development
  • Decreases maladaptive behaviors like crime, drug use and addiction
  • Increased assertiveness (as opposed to passivity or aggression)
  • Respect for boundaries -- respect for others and themselves
  • Improved decision-making, goal-setting, planning, and skill mastery
  • Enhances compassion of self and others
  • Increases patience - delay of gratification
  • Improves empowerment and humility
  • Increases self-actualization

Studies have shown the effectiveness of equine therapy, demonstrating that it lowers blood pressure and heart rate, reduces stress, anxiety and depression. Developing healthy life skills is a cumulative benefit of equine therapy.

Equine Therapy Questions?

For people who find it difficult to face painful emotions and experiences, equine therapy provides a novel, non-threatening setting with indirect therapeutic guidance, where therapist and patient can recognize and focus on an array of emotional and behavioral challenges. Please don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions about our equine therapy.

If you, a loved one, or a key employee needs help with their addictions or disorders, give us a call. You can also schedule a free PHONE CONSULTATION on our programs and equine therapy.

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