Brookhaven Retreat sent two of its primary therapists to Marion, NC to complete Part 1 of the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) training December 14-16. This three-day training is the beginning of a two-part series that offers a comprehensive overview of the therapy and an EAGALA certification upon completion.
As a type of experiential therapy, equine-assisted therapy relies on the horse’s natural ability to mimic our attitude and understand body language. Unlike humans, horses do not respond to verbal direction, making this a challenging, yet rewarding, activity.
Using only hand movements and body language to guide the horse through tasks, women gain a deeper insight into their own behaviors and attitudes during times of frustration, leadership and decision-making, and can be very helpful in exploring these issues further with her primary therapist.
The skills that equine-assisted therapy teaches, including self-confidence, interpersonal relationships, impulse control and emotion regulation are critical components in managing various mental health issues from borderline personality disorder to bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression.
Brookhaven Retreat has four beautiful horses in its equine-assisted psychotherapy program. The connection a woman feels between herself and the horse provides powerful therapy for women struggling with trauma, loss and conflict resolution as they learn and practice essential life skills through touch instead of talk. This nonverbal therapy method creates a deep bond that allows her to move past emotional pain and gain newfound self-assurance.
From traditional forms of therapy such as psychotherapy to non-traditional modalities including equine assisted therapy, Brookhaven Retreat is committed to offering women with mental health and substance abuse issues the best and most effective treatment. Not all women respond to the same therapy, and it is critical to offer alternate forms of therapy in order to breakdown emotional barriers and begin the healing process. Having all primary therapists EAGALA certified encourages Brookhaven Retreat’s ongoing evolution and ensures its position as a one of a kind residential treatment center that offers hope, healing and lasting recovery.