If you are looking for a possible solution to conservative treatment for your troubled teen, then it might be time to look into equine therapy. This type of hands-on therapy has been used since the time of the ancient Greeks and for many different conditions. According to Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, equine therapy ensures a relationship between both a therapist and the horse expert, who come together to determine the best form of treatment – in this case, for your teenage son or daughter.
You might be wondering just how exposure to a large animal such as a horse could help to moderate and even improve your child’s mental and behavioral well-being, right? Amazingly, diving into the research has noted multiple times just how much the interaction between an animal and a human can be healing.
Benefits of Equine Therapy for Teens
Horse therapy can be utilized in a multitude of ways; this includes decreasing anxiety and depression, increasing self-confidence, building trust, learning to problem solve, regulating emotions and impulses, reducing stress levels, developing assertiveness, and learning how to build relationships, to name a few!
Let’s say your son or daughter has exhausted other means of conservative treatment. Teen horse therapy is an excellent option for these children while giving them the opportunity to build responsibility and gain the trust of the large animal. Interacting and engaging with a horse is no small feat; in fact, it can be nerve-wracking for the first few sessions until your teen warms up to the scenario. However, over time, and with added responsibility, you can begin to notice an overall increase in compassion in your child, as well as the ability for them to know how to handle a situation that they might perceive as being more stressful – all of which are necessary as your teen gets older and moves into adulthood.
Teen equine treatment can be utilized for conditions such as autism, ADHD, PTSD, anxiety, depression, and several types of developmental delays, although the full extent of this treatment will depend upon the specific needs of your child and their level of involvement in an equine therapy program (as well as your involvement as the parent, too!).
How Does Equine Therapy Work?
If you are considering teen horse therapy, one of the first things you need to do is find a reputable center with credible horse professionals; from there, you can see if they work with licensed and certified therapists within the area who are familiar with equine therapy.
Once you have established a solid connection with a therapist and an equine therapy center (after appropriate goal setting has been achieved), the next step will be introducing your teen to the horses! These gentle giants are incredible at perceiving human emotion and thus can be instrumental in building a trusting relationship with your child. For example, if your child is dealing with behavioral issues and feels anxious around the horse initially, the horse might also be standoffish; on the flip side, once your child feels more comfortable around the horse and begins to feel safe around them, the horse will then do the same.
If your child is currently in a residential treatment center, then you might notice one of the many options available for care is equine therapy. From primary care to grooming and exercise, having your child spend one-on-one time with a horse can open up so many avenues for conservative treatment, especially within the realm of troubled teen behavior. Horses are also a wonderful outlet for those children who are non-verbal; often, just being in the presence of a horse can bring about improved behavior, a sense of calm, and a feeling of empowerment in many teenagers. In addition, confidence can be increased over time, especially as your son or daughter accepts more responsibility for caring for the horses and knows how to problem-solve accordingly.
Equine Therapy for Teens
If you are interested in utilizing teen equine treatment for your child, know that they can begin to increase their patience, communication skills, and self-confidence, decrease anxiety, and heal previous traumas. More information regarding equine therapy can be found at Help Your Teen Now, if needed. Reach out today if you feel as though your child would benefit from horse therapy!