Why Equine Assisted Therapy?

3884 Words Jul 10th, 2012 16 Pages
Why Equine Assisted Therapy?
Amy DeLuzio
Columbia International University

“The horse acts as the teacher and unlocks the client. The animal facilitates emotional breakthroughs, and the effect, therapists report, can be magical” (Hayley Sumner).

Definition and Explanation of the Topic and Interest:
Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT), specifically, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy/Learning is a type of therapy that is primarily solution-focused and client-centered. The heart of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy/Learning is captured within the EGALA system (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association). According to Hayley Sumner who is published in the US Newswire, “EGALA has set the standard for horse-related therapy including both equine
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As I have experienced through observation, some wonderful things that EAP and EAL have to offer people, my interest has grown increasingly to the point where I believe this field may be where the Lord has been leading me towards. My final interest in this topic is that much of my personal therapeutic paradigm is based on offering clients a better understanding of freedom. I feel that people often exist believing they have less freedom than they actually possess. This belief is wholly supported by client-centered, solution-focused therapy which is a base for almost all equine therapies.
Review of the Current Research
Although there are different concepts of EAT that have been in existence since the mid 1960’s, research has really only existed for the last 20, or so, years. According to Cindy Sanekane, the majority of research done regarding EAP and EAL has been in regards to people with cerebral palsy however, research in other areas is up and coming. Based on her report, EAP and EAL are often researched in respect to disorders most commonly diagnosed in childhood. At the same time, it is well known among these therapists that EAP and EAL are effective with a multitude of others. Sanekane concludes in her article that there is yet much research to be done in terms of the positive effects of EAP and EAL on psychological disorders. She argues that while results appear to be consistently positive, as far as research is