FAIRFIELD, Conn. – At Newport Academy , Equine-Assisted Therapy is one aspect of a comprehensive treatment program for adolescents healing from depression, trauma, mood disorders, self-harm or substance use issues. Through the human-horse connection, teens work toward building trust, self-confidence and attachment.
Horses possess a unique sensitivity to people's feelings, and clients who have trouble talking about their emotions have especially benefited from this non-traditional type of therapy, according to the Newport Academy staff report. The horses offer empathy and presence for adolescents who’ve been struggling.
Equine-Assisted Therapy provides kids with the ability to develop their confidence and improve social skills by caring for and connecting with an animal. Clients identify behaviors and create meaningful relationships with the horses, later applying the same relationship values to their families and friends.
Teens who participate in this therapeutic modality learn to speak their minds rather than hide their feelings. Therapists often cite this "emotional incongruence,” or suppression of emotions, as a roadblock for patients in the therapeutic process.
Equine-Assisted Therapy has been scientifically proven to help lower blood pressure and heart rate, while reducing stress, anxiety and depression. It provides a way for adolescents to progress in their emotional development within a safe and fun environment.
Newport Academy has several locations throughout the United States, including residential programs, recovery day schools and outpatient programs for mental health and substance abuse. For more information or to find a campus near you, click here .