Robin Risso, LMFT
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy is an active and engaging therapeutic experience. Sometimes, I create therapeutic exercises and activities based on the presenting goals working from the perspective that fits your experiences and needs. Other times, we use observation and how the horses are engaged to help build insight. For others, its about more traditional talk therapy while being out with the herd which may lend to staying present and grounded.
Horses are particularly great therapeutic partners because they are prey animals, they are tuned in to their environment at all times because they have to be. Our horses love being a part of sessions and they provide support, challenges, and entertainment. They can be goofy, compassionate, stubborn but always horses and often seem to reflect what we are feeling during sessions. You don't need to know anything about horses and you won't be riding them. All you need is to be able to walk around and yes, you will likely leave smelling like a horse.
Our herd has grown and now includes mini donkeys and mini goats. The mini donkeys are often engaged in our sessions and the mini goats may be a part of your treatment as well.
At the end of session, it's not required but also not unusual to stop and visit with any of the animals who may not have been directly involved in your session.