Equine Therapy (also called Equine Assisted Psychotherapy or EAP) has long been a part of the excellent clinical services we offer at Sunrise. Each Equine Assisted Therapy session is facilitated by a master’s level therapist, along with an experienced equine specialist. Our equine therapy team members are trained by EAGALA, the leading provider of education, standards, and support to equine therapists.
Equine Therapy is centered on metaphors. These metaphors mirror real life on many different levels and are used to raise young women’s awareness of the issues they carry. As individual issues arise within the equine setting the girls have en-vivo opportunities to work through such issues. Equine therapy is an effective modality to learn skills such as teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. It provides a natural setting in which to face fears and increase confidence and self-esteem. These sessions with our girls help address a variety of behaviors, including:
- Family communication problems
- Social anxiety
- Anger and acting out behaviors
- Grief and loss
- Low self-worth
- Substance use and recovery
- Relationship problems
Following Equine Therapy sessions, our horse trainers spend time teaching the girls about horse safety; grooming, caring for, and saddling horses; leading and tying; mounting and dismounting; saddle posture; and preparing horses for riding. Our girls can also participate in free riding and private riding lessons as we continue our tradition of offering our students a top-quality, community integrated and experiential education.
In addition to our weekly Equine Therapy sessions, we include a horsemanship class as part of our academic curriculum. This class increases both the number of girls who can participate at once as well as the time each girl will spend learning about, and caring for, our horses.