Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP)
Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) is another term for horses healing in psychotherapy and is defined by PATH (the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.), formerly NARHA/EFMHA) as a form of experiential psychotherapy that includes equine(s). It may include, but is not limited to, a number of mutually beneficial equine activities such as handling, grooming, longeing and riding . Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy is a treatment approach within the classification of Equine Assisted Therapy that provides the client with opportunities to enhance self-awareness and re-pattern maladaptive behaviors, feelings and attitudes. EFP is provided by a licensed, credentialed mental health professional working with an appropriately credentialed equine professional.
Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) utilizes horses experientially in the therapy process as partners to the treatment team and as catalysts for change and emotional growth. Horses, as prey animals, have a highly attuned ability to sense and respond to emotion as a means for survival and thus they become mirrors for us in the therapy process as they reflect our inner most feelings, whether those feelings are recognized by us or not. This can be a powerful tool in getting to the root of emotional problems quickly.
"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom" - Anais Nin
Additionally, EFP Sessions can take place in an indoor or outdoor barn/arena setting and are experiential in nature. The experiential element of EFP allows clients to find their own solutions to problems through experimentation thus also building on problem solving and communication skills. Research shows that learning occurs at highest retention through experiencing far over seeing, hearing/talking and reading.
With this hands-on, experiential approach to psychotherapy, you will learn more about yourself and others by participating in activities with horses. You'll have an opportunity to find deeper meaning and understanding of your own patterns, behaviors and themes by processing the outcome of the activity with the EFP professional team. You will also be able to try out new behaviors and attitudes with immediate feedback from the horses' behavior.
All of the activities with the horses will take place on the ground. There is no riding experience necessary for unmounted work for you to experience growth, change and healing