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Solstice East Experts Discuss Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

Therapists at Solstice East residential treatment center are trained in trauma-focused equine-assisted psychotherapy. Some folks might have a basic understanding that equine-assisted therapy involves using horses to help treat trauma. Here, staff at Solstice East shared specifics. 

The therapists and trauma experts at Solstice East recently discussed the methodology of this unique modality to help more people understand the benefits of equine-assisted psychotherapy.

What Is Equine-assisted Therapy?

Equine-assisted therapy is also known as horse therapy or equestrian therapy. It is an experiential treatment method for mental and behavioral health disorders. 

Equine-assisted therapy was developed in the mid-1900s when psychotherapists realized the significant mental health benefits of interacting with horses. It now encompasses a variety of therapeutic horsemanship skills to reduce stress, depression, and some symptoms of PTSD.

Equine-assisted therapy has also been proven to assist people with motor control issues, behavioral tics, posture concerns, difficulty balancing, and more. It has proven especially helpful for individuals overcoming mental health issues which affect them somatically. By engaging in activities with horses, patients can experience improvements in self-esteem, self-awareness, communication skills, and emotional regulation.

Equine-assisted Therapy in a Residential Treatment Setting

Solstice East is a residential treatment center serving adolescents (Female, Transmale, Non-binary) ages 14–18 struggling with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, substance abuse, and trauma and its associated symptoms. The experts at this unique and effective residential facility use the intuitive power of horses to help heal some mental health disorders. 

Therapeutic aspects of equine-assisted therapy range from grooming and petting, and feeding to riding. Some teens even advance to training horses and taking solo rides. Horses are known to understand many human emotional needs, allowing them to be patient when around individuals experiencing anger, despair, or fear. 

Students at Solstice East enjoy opportunities to care for the horses daily and undergo equine-assisted therapy in a group setting. In this setting, they learn how to cooperate and interact by working with horses and each other. 

This modality also allows therapists to view how each individual communicates both with the horses and their peers. Solstice East therapists identify patterns and address those patterns during individual therapy sessions.

About the Solstice East Residential Treatment Center

Solstice East is located in the heart of the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The residential treatment center sits on 25 pristine acres, ideal for offering on-site equine therapy and numerous other experiential treatment methods. 

Students at the treatment center receive an accredited education and a wide range of therapeutic programs to help treat mental health disorders, trauma, and more. The program empowers youth and gives them the tools they need to thrive during and after their time at Solstice. 

The Solstice East residential treatment center is at the forefront of utilizing equine-assisted therapy in a residential setting. Its expert team of therapists and trauma specialists have seen firsthand the life-changing results that this treatment can bring, and are committed to helping others understand and experience the benefits of equine-assisted psychotherapy.


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