Trauma and PTSD
The Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) work at Creating Pathways Farm is trauma informed, meaning the impact of recent and/or historical childhood trauma is always assessed in our work. Mental health is significantly affected by the experience of trauma even when the impact does not rise to the more extreme level of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Trauma is not only experienced by veterans, and trauma is not only a discrete, one time dramatic event. In the simplest sense, trauma occurs when someone’s ability to cope is overwhelmed and neurological processes have been affected. Equine Assisted Therapy and learning activities have been shown to be quite effective in resolving trauma.
Horses, as prey animals, have a very finely-honed ability to read others’ emotions and intentions, yet they are completely non-judgmental in interacting with each other and with people. This allows those who have experienced trauma, particularly interpersonal trauma, to begin to rebuild a sense that relationships can be trusted. Working with horses helps to build new neural pathways that restore a sense of calm, grounding and safety because horses are always fully present in the moment. Horses are used in animal therapy because they give immediate feedback and are perfect mirrors. Horses’ large size assists people in learning how to gain trust.
Resolving trauma means you will be able to respond rather than react. Trauma work is as unique as the individual, and we would be happy to discuss with you in more detail your own concerns about the effect trauma may have had on you and your life.
Equine-Assisted Therapies (EAT) have been recognized in the medical and mental health fields by most major countries.