Animal Assisted Therapy
I am often asked what exactly a therapy dog does in session. The answer is always "depends". Sometimes the entire purpose of the therapy dog's presence is to create more relaxed atmosphere for an individual who is uncomfortable and anxious. The dogs sense the need and simply climb on the couch next to the person or calmly sleep on floor by their fit.
Another times I use my therapy dog as an object that feelings and thoughts can be projected on: It is much easier to talk about what the dog may think about "me" rather what "I may think about me".
When both dogs are mentioned in session, relational issues and their resolution come to the surface. Children can identify sibling rivalry and adults can learn non-judgmental approach to conflicts.
Certified therapy dog Queen on the right and Mufasa (9 months old in this photo) on the left.
Equine Therapy at the "Wise Horse Ranch"
Equine facilitated psychotherapy is becoming more and more popular since more and more research available to proof its positive impact on humans. Its secret lies in the mutual attraction between humans and horses.
Horses are herd animals, and their survival depends on effective communication (quick and accurate) among the herd’s members. In order to communicate quickly, horses use electromagnetic fields to transfer their messages. These accurate messages come from the “feelings” that horses naturally identify, and use as information on how to act.
For example, when a horse sees a predator that is about to strike, the horse will not analyze the situation or doubt his assessment, but will act out of fear immediately by running (horses’ first choice) or fighting the predator if needed. The emotion that this horse experiences holds certain amounts of energy that will be immediately sent and picked up by the rest of the herd – so that everyone knows what to do.
One of the features that is attractive for humans in horses, is the horse’s ability to not doubt themselves in trusting their feelings and to act precisely on the information that feeling brings. In today’s world, humans learned to undermine or completely dismiss their emotions as less valuable. Since childhood every human is being taught to behave in the society according to the norms that slowly shake the confidence of our intuition.
Through the interaction with horses, humans can relearn their behavior patterns and regain trust in their intuition. Horses on the other hand are attracted to humans because of their own need for survival through diversity: the more diverse the herd, the more chances of survival the herd has. This is because humans are predators by nature (eyes in front = predator, eyes on the side = prey), and therefore having predators on the prey’s side increases the level of protection.
Leading the horse using only your inner power
For all corporate equine workshops please call me at 917-725-0884
For therapeutic riding and therapeutic interaction with the horses for adults and children, please contact Doreen Higham at Wise horse Ranch Tel: 845-281-2457.
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”
― Winston S. Churchill