WHAT IS IT
What we offer for Military veterans
Equinola serves the need of veterans who are struggling with the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD), whether they be debilitating or annoying. Treating the effects of trauma is never easy and in military culture, the challenge is even greater. The reality is that traditional psychotherapy can feel like “just a lot of talk” among people who value doing and action. Service members are hands-on. They trust their experience and the people they serve with. In order to engage them in their own healing process, the solutions offered need to understand who they are, respect their culture and meet them squarely on their own terms.
One in five soldiers returns home with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). This can also affect their relationships with their families and friends.
We use EMDR, an evidence-based approach using bi lateral stimulation. This may be carried out on its own, or in conjunction with Equine assisted therapy.
We also offer Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, and with this, horses are part of the team to help military veterans gain self-understanding and emotional growth. It recognizes the bond between animals and humans and the potential for emotional healing that can occur when a relationship is formed between the two species. In most cases, the horses are not ridden, and usually are not tethered in the arena, but allowed to roam free.
HOW IT WORKS
How this works in everyday life
We also work with the families of veterans as they attempt to re-integrate in the family system. Currently in the program are veterans who have suffered combat stress, sexual assault, hazing trauma, and the trauma of being a helping provider to wounded military.
In equine facilitated psychotherapy, horses serve as metaphors and powerful stand-ins for the people, issues and challenges in the client’s life – or the lives of the couple, family or military unit. A mental health professional puts the horses’ unique sensitivities to work – their special capacity to read and respond to peoples’ non-verbal cues – leading to powerful emotional breakthroughs and life-changing insights. Being hands-on and action-oriented, equine assisted psychotherapy is an important tool to help clients understand and recognize unhealthy patterns, build on their personal strengths and change their lives.
Clinical evidence and generations of human experience show that horses have a special ability to help people work through emotional barriers without shame or stigma. This is especially true and valuable for people who suffer the effects of trauma.
Equinola at Circle L Ranch models the program of the EAGALA Association. The EAGALA study revealed that 100 percent of soldiers who completed therapy had dramatically reduced stress levels. Animal-assisted therapy has shown evidenced-based efficacy in patients including war veterans with PTSD, depression, anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorders, dissociative disorders, and other chronic mental illnesses.
What Our Clients Say
“The family therapy was straight forward. Louise’s approach supports her philosophy of “brief therapy” in that if you engage in the process, and follow the recommendations for “homework” outside of therapy sessions, you see rapid and positive change. She doesn’t take sides when it comes to family therapy. We are now communicating much better in our family.”
“I was skeptical about going for EMDR. It sounded weird but seeing how another guy at the base improved by going, made me give it a try and it surprised me. I can now talk about my trauma without having to relive it. Just the freedom from nightmares and flashbacks alone has made it more than worthwhile.”
“Being in a different kind of therapy environment with the horses allowed me to move toward my wife in a different kind of more positive way. I moved in and out of the space with my wife and the horses and explored the effects of this. I felt compassion and hope in there.”
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