Spirite Equus: Therapists Experience Of The Perceived Benefits Of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy | 12540
Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism
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Aim: This paper explores the comparatively new field of experiential psychology known as Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy
(EFP). Historically, EFP developed from the therapeutic riding form of AAT (animal assisted therapy). However it goes far beyond
traditional therapeutic riding for the disabled. According to EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association), EFP
is ?an emerging field in which horses are used as a tool for emotional growth and learning. EFP is a collaborative effort between
a licensed therapist and a horse professional. Because of its intensity and effectiveness, it is considered a short-term or brief
approach? (EAGALA literature). The research reported here sought to develop a potentially emergent theory of why equine
therapy is effective.
Method: Interviews were conducted with six practioners who had been engaged in EFP for at least one year. All therapists
belonged to a professional organization. Transcripts of the interviews were analyzed using Grounded Theory.
Discussion: The concept of ?resonance? emerged from the analysis as a potential basis for explaining the effectiveness of this kind
of therapeutic intervention.
Scheiner obtained her Doctorate in Counselling Psychology from Regents College in London. She is particularly interested in the use of equine
therapy as an adjunct to traditional talking therapy. Her thesis focused on the development of a theory for the success of equine therapy which has
now been widely accepted. She has worked for the National Health Service in the UK for a number of years and also runs a successful private
practice. She also supervises and teaches students on a Doctorate program.
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