Desert Solace addiction recovery facility uses equine therapy — in other words, therapy horses — to help clients overcome stress and shame at the core of addiction.
Anyone who has flown on a plane in the last few years will know the term “support animal.” These animals help soothe their owners during stressful activities like flying. Some support animals are even able to sense when their owners are starting to have anxiety or panic attacks, and will respond to help redirect their owners’ focus away from the thoughts that are causing them stress.
Fewer people are familiar with horse-based, or “equine” therapy. In equine therapy, clients interact with horses in a safe environment under the guidance of trained staff.
Just as smaller “support animals” are able to respond to their owners’ emotional needs and sense when something is wrong, so, too can horses respond to the emotions of their handlers. Trained therapy horses are able to mirror their handlers’ emotions in a safe environment, allowing clients to explore emotions they may not actively recognize in themselves.
Furthermore, working with horses teaches handlers how to respect and communicate without relying on language. By modeling respectful behavior and discipline towards building a relationship with their animal, clients can learn about positive socialization.
For those seeking addiction recovery, self-esteem is often a major issue. Addiction is a shame-driven disease, and living with shame can leave those suffering from addiction feeling as though they aren’t capable of connection or worthy of love.
According to a Norwegian study, clients who undergo Animal-Assisted Therapy such as equine therapy often report higher self-esteem and coping abilities at the end of a 12-week program.
Because of this ability to boost clients’ self-esteem, equine therapy may be uniquely positioned to aid in addiction recovery. As such, it’s an integral part of the Desert Solace experience.
Desert Solace officials explained that “in addition to participating in equine therapy sessions, our clients actually get to care for the horses on a daily basis, which can be a powerful learning experience on its own, helping clients learn responsibility, the importance of establishing boundaries, and the power of connection.”
Co-founder and Family Liaison Jerri Jorgensen further stressed the popularity of equine therapy with past clients.
“There’s this connection and guys will leave saying that the equine (therapy) was one of their favorite parts,” Jorgensen said.
Desert Solace is an inpatient addiction treatment center in St. George, Utah. Desert Solace specializes in the treatment of pornography and sex addictions. Additionally, they offer treatment programs for gaming, gambling and substance abuse. Their inpatient facility for porn, sex, gaming, gambling and substance addictions features professional, licensed counselors, a professional chef, equine therapy and more. With ongoing outpatient support for patients and their loved ones via phone calls and online messaging, Desert Solace believes in involving the client’s family in the recovery process.
Note: Article contributed by KHTS AM 1220 & 98.1 FM
Equine Therapy For Addiction Recovery
Desert Solace / Addiction Treatment Center / Pornography Addiction / Sex Addiction / Inpatient Addiction Treatment / Porn Sex / Porn Addiction / Recovery Center