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How Equine Therapy is Helping People Overcome an Addiction

Traditional addiction treatment will typically include a medical detox, rehabilitation, counselling, and group therapy. This treatment may take place in a hospital, an outpatient clinic, or a rehabilitation centre.

How Equine Therapy is Helping People Overcome an Addiction

Treatment could last for a week to several months and may be based upon a standard programme or one that is tailored to your needs. While there are many different variables and aspects to treating an addiction, the focus remains largely the same: to rehabilitate a patient who is addicted to a substance and to enable him or her to live a healthy, sober life.

When you are looking for an equine therapy rehab Thailand has to offer, consider Siam Rehab for quality inpatient addiction treatment.

Equine Therapy for Addiction

Addiction rehabilitation has come a long way over the last 3 or 4 decades; thanks to ongoing research. Today, more private rehabs are offering patients tailored programmes that include a combination of western and alternative medicine, as well as, specialised forms of psychotherapies. One of the more popular therapies that can help a patient to recover from an addiction is equine therapy.

Equine therapy is a type of animal assisted therapy. It encourages interaction between the patient and an animal, in this case a horse, in order to identify and resolve psychological issues that he or she might otherwise struggle to work through in traditional therapeutic modules. At an equine therapy rehab in Thailand, or elsewhere, the patient will regularly interact with the horse to develop a trusting relationship with the animal.

Studies on the Effects of Equine Therapy for Addiction

As a whole, equine therapy is considered to be a recent development in treating addiction and other psychological issues. However, there have been a large number of studies that examine the benefits and effects of equine therapy. In a 2008 study commended by doctors and psychologists, a group of people suffering from anxiety, depression, seasonal affective disorders, personality disorders, and schizophrenia were monitored over the course of 12 weeks. The study found that those who participated in equine therapy had higher levels of the ability to cope and improved self esteem. The study also noted when equine therapy was used in conjunction with other therapies, it can significantly help a person to deal with difficult situations. Substance addiction is considered to be a mental health disorder; thus, equine therapy, can be very useful to people in addiction treatment.

In another study published in Substance Abuse:Research and Treatment, it was suggested that at least four areas can be targeted in equine therapy for addiction. These include:

  • Changing and refocusing the patient’s attention to something healthier, positive, or outside of their traditional mindset.
  • Offers a physical element of activity, and depending on the location, encourages time spent outdoors.
  • Assists in establishing self worth, trust, responsibility, and acceptance.
  • Encourages the patient to try new things; thereby building self esteem and confidence.

The benefits of equine therapy for addiction extend far beyond the actual interaction between the patient and the animal. Patience, confidence, and acceptance without judgement are commonly experienced by men and women participating in the treatment.

The Benefits of Equine Therapy for Addiction

Horses have the ability to sense and respond to the feelings of other creatures, including humans. They can detect sadness, happiness, nervousness, or fear. When you participate in equine therapy for addiction, you can benefit from:

  • Feedback – Due to a horse’s ability to sense a patient’s feelings and emotions, and can then respond accordingly, they serve as a gentle mirror that may help him or her to recognise feelings they are not actually conscious of.
  • Learning – Equine therapy for addiction allows the patient to learn, evaluate, and modify the way they behave and interact based upon the interaction with the horse. Equine therapy is guided by a therapist who may also use this time to discuss various psychological, behavioural, and social issues.
  • Building Trust – For some people, talking about sensitive matters in a traditional setting is difficult. Others may have trust issues with the therapist and feel hindered in their ability to open up. Equine therapy in Thailand provides a safe environment where the patient can build a trust with them self, the horse, and their therapist.
  • Relationships are Built – Horses do not judge. This in and of itself can be extremely beneficial for anyone who is trying to rebuild confidence and trust, but without fearing criticism.

Equine Therapy in Thailand

Equine therapy in Thailand, at Siam Rehab, is an important part of our addiction treatment programme. During equine therapy sessions, a trained therapist will engage in training and educating the patient about horses and their care. Men and women will learn how to safely handle the therapy horses, and overtime, a sense of trust can be built. Equine therapy sessions for addiction usually have a goal or objective that act as a part of an overarching treatment plan.

Is Equine Therapy for Addiction Right for Me?

If you are looking for a psychotherapy that compliments your treatment plan, and improves your chances of a healthy, long term recovery, equine therapy may provide you with skills and confidence to live a fulfilling life. If you would like to know more about equine therapy in Thailand, call Siam Rehab.