|When Echo was looking for a therapy program to treat her substance use disorder, she knew that she did not want to do a traditional talk therapy program as was expected of her. Echo had known about equine therapy since she was twelve, but it was not until she was pregnant and motivated to stay clean from drugs that she inquired about Chinook Horses’ services. “I wanted to do therapy on my own terms,” Echo says. “It’s easier to be around animals and talk to them and connect with them than it is with humans.” Echo responded positively to individual therapy sessions with Chinook Horses, staying clean from drugs entirely in the two years since her daughter was born. Even though Echo still has triggers, it is through the skills that she has learned at Chinook that she remains clean, especially for the sake of her daughter. “She changed my whole life. She made me want to be better, not just for the courts but for myself.” The most important thing that Echo says she has learned from Chinook is instilling a genuine sense of confidence in herself, rather than the “false” confidence or facade that she was used to putting on. Of her long term goals with Chinook, Echo wants to learn how to be more assertive and establish more healthy boundaries. Echo owes her success to her horse, Mavis, whom she has also named Midnight. Echo also wants to thank the therapists at Chinook Horses for her success, calling her facilitators “understanding and nice” because they allowed her to form her own connection with the horse, rather than intervening and dictating how the connection should be managed. “They work with you well… They let you do most of the work with the horses… I thought that was pretty cool”|
An inspiring story! But you know what – horse therapy deals with all therapy needs – shyness, depression, lack of concentration at school or at work. Some of you looking for a career in the field of therapy may find horse therapy something to look into.
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