For many children with the symptoms and signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to domestic and sexual violence, equine-facilitated therapy (EFT), when added to counseling, speeds recovery and healing, significantly shortening the time needed for the child to return to pre-trauma functioning and behavior. The efficacy and beneficial effects of EFT are well documented. Practiced by trained, licensed professionals, this service has been shown to reduce PTSD symptomatology, including depression, stress, and anxiety, and to lessen behavioral manifestations.
Horses can be emotional mirrors for humans. EFT can help children develop a work ethic, identify and process feelings, and learn how to trust. According to experts, “EFT patients have a unique opportunity to note their tendency to engage in self-defeating and otherwise negative thoughts and actions. These realizations provide excellent bases for discussion and processing both during and after the equine therapy experience.” With the help of our counselors, translating success with the horse into human interaction fortifies the child’s self-esteem and well-being.
The service, supported by a grant from the Keim Philanthropic Fund, is of great benefit to child survivors who are otherwise unable to access this valuable therapeutic modality because of prohibitive cost and transportation challenges.