Addiction treatment can take on many forms.
One of the most popular addiction therapy programs among patients is equine-assisted therapy, which involves tamed and trained horses. Animal-assisted therapy helps patients go beyond talking and try out new behaviors. Those techniques are more likely to be replicated by actively using what they’re learning.
What to Know About Addiction Therapy Programs
Addiction treatment takes time and commitment. The most successful long-term addiction treatment programs provide ongoing support for patients and their families. Patients must also understand that relapse is a standard part of recovery from addiction. Relapse does not mean treatment has failed. Instead, it means that a patient must return to addiction treatment.
The effectiveness of a comprehensive addiction treatment plan depends on how much it’s customized for each patient—and addiction therapy programs help in individualizing the care provided for rehab patients. However, some addiction therapies are more commonly found in addiction treatment programs than others, such as:
- Individual therapy – The therapeutic approach used in many one-on-one counseling sessions in addiction treatment is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). It is a goal-oriented therapy that helps patients understand the connection between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. CBT can help patients identify and change negative thinking patterns and behaviors associated with addiction.
- Family therapy – Addiction doesn’t just affect the person struggling with substance use—it affects their entire family. Family therapy sessions help families learn how to communicate and support their loved ones in recovery.
- Group therapy – Group therapy sessions provide patients with peer support and allow them to share their experiences with others going through similar things. These sessions can help normalize the challenges of addiction recovery.
At Skywood Recovery, equine-assisted therapy is commonly added to residential rehab programs.
What to Expect from an Equine-Assisted Therapy Program
For two hours each week, those in Skywood’s residential program for addiction can increase self-awareness and practice the techniques and tools they talk about in group and individual sessions by participating in equine-assisted therapy.
The equine-assisted therapy program at Skywood Recovery is designed to help patients struggling with addiction. While working with horses, patients can expect to learn new skills, such as trust, confidence, and responsibility. The equine-assisted therapy program can help patients recover by providing support and peer interaction.
In general, equine-assisted therapy consists of the following:
- Patients work with a therapist and a horse handler to complete various activities with horses
- Activities are designed to help patients achieve their treatment goals
- Patients reflect on their experience after each activity
The equine-assisted therapy program at Skywood Recovery is voluntary. Patients can choose to participate in equine-assisted therapy or not. This type of experiential therapy works by taking something an individual may already know and giving them a chance to put that into action with the horse. But why horses? There is an undeniable authenticity with animals. Unlike humans, they are exactly who they are, and there is no posturing. Many in treatment have trust issues they are working through, so working with animals allows them to let down barriers.
Patients participate as a team, working with horses in an object-directed, goal-directed way. For example, the team may work on problem-solving with horses in the form of an obstacle course. They join together to get the horse to jump or go through different obstacles. The experience creates a sense of teamwork and accomplishment that carries over to other treatment work.
Benefits of Equine-Assisted Therapy for Addiction
There are many benefits of participating in equine-assisted therapy, such as the following:
- A way to practice the techniques and tools they talk about in group and individual sessions
- Peer support and interaction
- Increased self-awareness
Skywood Recovery’s equine-assisted therapy program takes place at the prestigious Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center in nearby Augusta, Michigan. Opened in 1970, the Cheff Center offers therapy services and therapeutic riding year-round, striving to focus on what individuals can accomplish, not on what they cannot. One of the primary benefits of animal-assisted therapy at Skywood Recovery is access to the Cheff Center’s well-known location and services.
Find Equine-Assisted Therapy in Augusta, Michigan, at Skywood Recovery
Are you searching for an equine-assisted therapy program in Augusta, Michigan? Look no further than Skywood Recovery, which offers animal-assisted therapy for addiction and other addiction therapy programs. Contact Skywood Recovery today at 269.280.4673 to learn more about equine-assisted therapy and how it can help you or your loved one on the road to recovery.