What is EAC?
Equine Assisted Counseling (EAC) incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning. It is a collaborative effort between a licensed therapist and a horse professional working with the clients and horses to address treatment goals. Because of its intensity and effectiveness, it is considered a short-term, or "brief" approach.
EAC is experiential in nature. This means that participants learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, and then processing (or discussing) feelings, behaviors, and patterns. This approach has been compared to the ropes courses used by therapists, treatment facilities, and human development courses around the world. But EAC has the added advantage of utilizing horses, dynamic and powerful living beings.
Not all programs or individuals who use horses practice Equine Assisted Counseling. For one, licensed clinical professionals need to be involved for it to be considered "psychotherapy". The focus of EAC is not riding or horsemanship. The focus of EAC involves setting up ground activities involving the horses which will require the client or group to apply certain skills. Non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking and problem-solving, leadership, work, taking responsibility, teamwork and relationships, confidence, and attitude are several examples of the tools utilized and developed by EAC.
EAC is a powerful and effective therapeutic approach that has an incredible impact on individuals, youth, families, and groups. EAC addresses a variety of mental health and human development needs including behavioral issues, attention deficit disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders, abuse issues, depression, anxiety, relationship problems and communication needs.