Modern psychology bases many of its treatment methods on animal therapy. Animals and pets are used as a source of emotional support, as well as actual physical assistance. The effects have been amazing since the very beginning. For this reason, experts test different animals and their positive effects on patients in different therapeutic settings, effects that go beyond the traditional relationships between pets and owners.
Recently, one animal has yielded excellent results in various therapeutic processes – the horse. Equine-assisted or horse therapy puts horses into the therapeutic process, giving people access to a majestic, grand creature in their midst. What seemed as strange in the beginning swiftly turned into a truly effective experimental approach.
As a matter of fact, horse therapy is now split into different branches and has varied purposes, including equine assisted counseling, mental health therapies, psychotherapy, etc. Such therapy is being used with people of all ages and for many therapeutic reasons or settings. Seeing how students are one of the most vulnerable groups when it comes to stress and anxiety, such approach is also used to reduce student stress.
Horse Therapy and Students of Different Ages
Horse psychotherapy was first used with adults. However, seeing how young people of all ages, including children who are students, often experience challenges like stress, anxiety, and trauma, it has been used to help younger people, too. That being said, horse therapy is used to help students with their confidence, emotional awareness, self-esteem, trust in others, impulse control, social skills, as well as problem-solving skills.
The need for such assistance is frequent in students who often have to deal with stress caused by deadlines, exams, as well as the many burdens that come with student life, such as student debt and expenses. In addition to writing companies like the Eduzaurus, you can visit this page and see how Eduzaurus helps students by reducing the academic burden, students who are dealing with enormous amounts of stress often need another way to let the steam off. This company can help out with the bulk of papers on their desks, while equine therapy can help them fight off the stress, as well as the many health and psychological issues that occur as a result of it.
Why Horse Therapy?
Compared to human therapists who do their very best to create a safe space for their patients to share their emotional problems and experiences, horses are much easier to trust. For patients who deal with stress, especially young people such as students, it’s hard to establish such a trust that would allow them to openly share the deepest thoughts and feelings.
This takes time and let’s face it – time is something students don’t have. Having an animal present, on the other hand, can give the student a sense of calm and peace. Horses react to emotions and behavior without any bias or judgment. They are also known to be very keen observers, sensitive animals, as well as vigilant to emotion. In fact, horses will often mirror the student’s emotions and behavior, creating an unbreakable connection in a very short timeframe.
Because of such mirroring, students learn to maintain a better sense of self-awareness. The horses’ behavior is an excellent form of feedback that calms the person and give them a chance to see the thing from an outside perspective.
Very often, students are most stressed about life issues and traumas that are simply too painful to speak of. When they use an animal like a horse, they can easily approach, as well as organize their thoughts.
Anxiety and Horse Therapy
Some anxiety is perfectly healthy and is bound to keep us alert in our lives. However, when the anxiety is too frequent or the person is exposed to great anxiety, this can lead to many issues. This is why to treat anxiety, some therapists choose to use horses. Based on their results, horses can help people fight off separation anxiety, some phobias such as social phobia, as well as panic disorders and anxiety disorders.
Since the horses are sensitive and vigilant to emotions, they can respond with awareness that is evident in their behavior. This allows the person who struggles with anxiety to relate with the ability to sense danger, as well as the ability to respond in some way. Basically, the horse teaches the student to process the challenges instead of turning them into anxiety.
Knowing what you know now, you should definitely learn as much as you can about horse therapy. If you’re a student struggling with stress or a worried parent, this might just be the life-changing method that will boost the psychological health.
Jeremy Reynolds is an academic counselor, who works with students and teachers to come up with best solutions to boost the academic performance and extracurricular results of a student. He also works part-time as a team leader for an academic writing service. When not at work, he enjoys gaming, BBQ with friends and playing tennis.