Copper Canyon Academy girls boarding school is proud to offer a full program of Equine facilitated psychotherapy, also known as Equine Assisted Experiential Learning and Therapy.
Equine Guidance offers an integrated method to experiential learning teaching students the power of authentic relationship through the guidance of the horse.
Horses are social creatures with a developed sensitivity to emotional intelligence honesty and incongruence. They have survived as a species by being able to readily respond to the challenges inherent in forming and sustaining relationships. Horses are herd animals whom thrive within the connections of healthy herd dynamics. Through interactions with horses as co-therapists students are given hands on experience that teach leadership, cohesive relationships, empathy, social responsibility and emotional honesty. Students identify and shift internal emotional patterns within the psych and deeper their awareness to their individual and collective potential.
Because horses are preyed upon in nature, these sensitive creatures have maintained a highly developed ability to respond to subtle changes in stance, muscle tension, breathing and arousal levels of other horses, predators and humans. It is common language to say "a horse can sense your fear" however, they are sensitive to all emotions, as well as the slightest incongruence, yet are exceedingly patient and forgiving as they guide us to deeper levels of consciousness.
Equine therapy can be especially valuable as a therapeutic process because its works on a language older than words creating shifts within a mind body approach. The Equine Guidance method is an excellent adjunct to traditional "talk therapy" allowing the unconscious systems to regulate and balance. This new internal balance allows cognitive insights to integrate and anchor at accelerated rates. Horses can be “a way in” to students who are simply stuck in unhealthy behavior patterns, trauma, defiance, addiction, depression and anxiety. The horses are co-therapists in the Equine Guidance process providing unconditional positive regard as well as immediate feedback to a participates conscious and unknown emotional states that can impact thoughts and behavior.
An outcome study was conducted with thirty-eight students who participated in the Equine Assisted Therapy program and twenty-four students who did not, serving as the control group. Students in both groups were administered the BarOn Emotional Quotient Inventory at the beginning of the eight week course and at its completion. The Emotional Quotient Inventory is composed of five scales and is a measure of personal, social and emotional skills related to self-understanding, capacity for empathy and relating to others, tolerance for stress, flexibility and effective problem solving.
In comparison to the Control group, scores of the Equine Assisted Therapy group showed statistically significant increases on the Intrapersonal Scale, Stress Management Scale, Adaptability Scale, and Total EQ Scale. Pre-post test results for the Control group show a statistically significant improvement in total EQ scores, however, no statistically significant change on the other scales.
What these results mean is that those students participating in the Equine Assisted Therapy program significantly improved in emotional awareness, assertiveness, self-regard, self-actualization and independence, empathy, social responsibility in interpersonal relationships, greater tolerance for stress and improved impulse control, better reality testing, flexibility, and problem solving skills. In general these students should show greater effectiveness in daily functioning and general happiness with life, compared with those students who did not participate in the Equine Assisted Therapy program.
The Equine Assisted Therapy program is included in your daughter's tuition and is offered in addition to the existing individual and group therapy that is currently provided at Copper Canyon Academy.