Encouraging patients to interact with animals isn’t a new concept in medicine. You likely have heard news stories of therapy dogs visiting pediatric hospitals or a cat that lives among nursing home residents. Now, addiction treatment specialists are using horses to help alcoholics find sobriety. If you or a loved one needs treatment for alcohol abuse or alcoholism, keep reading to learn more about how equine-assisted therapy can be particularly beneficial.
Equine-assisted therapy involves more than simply allowing the person to be near an animal or pet it. In this type of treatment, a trained therapist uses a horse as a tool to help someone connect with his or her emotions as well as build essential core skills. Horses have been used to assist people of all ages recover from a range of conditions, including anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and autism spectrum disorders. A number of addiction recovery centers have started using equine therapy to help recovering addicts.