Equine Facilitated Mental Health Programs (EFMH)
Equine Facilitated Mental Health Programs (also referred to as EFL or EFP, Equine Facilitated Learning or Psychotherapy, respectively) offer a powerful and effective therapeutic approach that has proven to have a significant impact on individuals, youth, families and groups with a variety of mental health and human development needs. EFMH programs are designed to partner individuals with "therapy horses" in order to enhance communication, trust, positive assertiveness and wellness, while also building social skills, self-confidence and self-esteem.
EFMH Programs offer a unique approach which:
Re-patterns and structures new brainstem development
Offers an effective way for individuals to move toward a path of emotional recovery
Provides personal exploration, mindfulness, emotional fitness, relationship building and improved communication skills
Complements medical and psychological treatment plans, education and family needs
Whether you have clinically diagnosed needs or are looking for new challenges and personal growth, our Equine Facilitated Mental Health programs at the Flying Horse Stable are shared and provided in a physically and emotionally safe environment, providing you with the opportunity to feel the connection with our horses in their natural environment.
Your involvement in horse-centered activities provides an immediate "here and now" interaction with the horses that reflects their individual feelings and behaviors. These interactions are surprisingly similar to issues we all experience in everyday life. After sharing and discussing the thoughts, feelings and experiences "of the moment", you acquire new personal insight and understanding, which lead you to naturally pattern healthy behaviors and a positive life style.
Mutually respectful activities between you and the horse may include observation, handling, grooming, lunging, round pen work, general horse care and riding. Flying Horse Stable also offers a variety of reflective programs such as trail walks or rides, a hero's journey/adventure, the discovery of a horse's energy field, music, journaling and expressive arts.
Your horse human partnership is the focus of EFMH activities. You need to learn and apply certain skills in order to develop this partnership with horses. Non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking, problem solving, leadership, taking responsibility, teamwork, confidence and attitude are several examples of the skills which can be developed. These skills have far reaching applications linked to increased success and personal well-being.
Personal interactive experiences are facilitated by a collaborative team which may include a combination of two or more of the following: a trained counselor, a psychotherapist, a certified therapeutic riding instructor, a horse professional or trained volunteers. Flying Horse Stable's trained staff and horses are flexible and ready to modify or enhance the session structure and activity choices to flow with changes that may occur in nature or with the individual on any given day.
Mental Health Issues that Benefit from Equine Therapy
Recovery: Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) , domestic violence and abuse, post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), or loss
Interpersonal: self help, stress relief, anger management, or communication barriers
Life coping skills: depression, anxiety, or eating disorders
Educational areas: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), communication, emotional/learning difficulties, or Asperger/Autism Syndrome
Community needs: delinquency behaviors, volunteer training, or learning independent life skills
EFMH promotes change through action and interaction with horses. Individuals show positive growth in:
- Self-Esteem and Confidence
- Social Interaction
- Trust Building
- Boundary Setting
- Mutual Respect
- Relaxation and Stress Relief
- Anger and Anxiety Management
Eligibility for Equine Assisted Programs
Participants are considered eligible if they are referred by: a county service care provider, physician, psychiatrist, mental health provider, special education teacher, at risk youth leader, counseling agencies, parent or self-referral. All participants have a plan including outcome based goals and session length/theme options.
Current offerings include programs relating to:
- Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL)
- Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFL)
- Youth in Transition
- Asperger Syndrome and Autism
- Returning Veterans
- Eating Disorders
- Wellness Workshops
- Professional Development & Training Programs
The Flying Horse Stable Programs adhere to the national standards and ethics developed by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH Intl), Equine Facilitated Learning and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy.
Programs take place year round at the barn, in the round pen, in the outdoor or indoor arena, in the Back 40 challenge course/labyrinth, or on a reflective trail ride ride/walk. The Flying Horse Stable offers all season facilities for both warm or cold weather!
You are also invited to contact us or call 608-317-1448 with your questions regarding Equine Therapy,