Equine Therapy for Drug Rehab in Utah

Woman and horse at drug rehab in Utah

Recovering from substance abuse is one of the most challenging situations you will encounter. Whether you are addicted to marijuana or alcohol, it is essential for you to enroll in a drug rehab center that will give you the tools to maintain sobriety. At Lion’s Gate Recovery, we specialize in programs for drug rehab in Utah. Our staff uses many types of therapy to help you and your loved ones work through your addiction. One of the most effective types of therapy that we use at our center is Equine therapy.

Equine Therapy Sessions at Lion’s Gate Recovery

Equine therapy at Lion’s Gate Recovery offers a creative approach to helping people who struggle with addiction. In this therapy, patients interact with horses and learn to relate positively with them.Equine therapy sessions are a guided by certified licensed therapist and horse professionals. These two professionals collaborate to create a good therapeutic environment for patients.

Equine therapy is not designed to be a long-term program. This therapy is designed to be short-term, intense and effective. When patients get comfortable interacting with the horses, it usually does not take long for them to reveal their deepest issues.

The Equine therapy program at Lion’s Gate Recovery was designed to use the horses to help patients learn about their lives, feelings, and behaviors. Equine therapy can be practiced in a group or individual sessions. In these sessions, patients interact with horses by playing with them, participating in activities and taking care of them.

As patients develop relationships with the horses, various patterns develop and emerge. On many occasions, patients will display the issues they need to address as they are interacting with horses. Specific types of Equine therapy are Equine Assisted Therapy, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Equine Assisted Learning and Equine Facilitated Learning.

For many patients at Lion’s Gate Recovery, interacting with horses brings out deep-rooted issues and behavioral patterns that may be roadblocks to their sobriety. As a result of these interactions, our therapists observe the behavior and develop individualized recovery plans based on their observations.

Psychological issues that are observed in the Equine therapy sessions are:

  • – Fear of rejection and inadequacy
  • – Fear of decision-making or analysis paralysis
  • – Need for unconditional love
  • – Confusion about personal identity
  • – History of abuse
  • – Fear of vulnerability

The interesting thing about Equine therapy is that patients often let their guards down and relax with the horses. When patients are relaxed, they will reveal more about the issues that are holding them back. By meeting the needs of the horses, patients are able to reconnect with themselves and rebuild their self-esteem and personal value.

Natural Horsemanship Approach

Talbot Recovery Solutions utilizes the Natural Horsemanship approach of“Willing Communication between Horse and Human”– making the right things easy and the wrong things difficult. Our Residents learn to build a foundation one step at a time with each step overlapping the previous one, building on what the horse and Resident have already learned. Residents learn to approach the training process slowly and taking plenty of time with a colt, staying within their abilities, using common sense and knowing that safety is always first. The central aim of this form of therapy is for the resident to create a relationship with a horse that is based on mutual trust and respect. The building blocks of such a relationship, in part, are based on the fact that the horse will never engage in high-risk behavior and relies on the protection of the herd. The herd has rules that keep all of its members safe. This truth is critical of the recovery program, metaphorically suggesting to associate with “safe” peers and to avoid high-risk behavior.

Working with horses forces the resident to seek and use new solutions, a skill directly related to the recovery process. Working with a horse helps the resident understand the need for limits and boundaries in order for them to be successful as a member of a family.

Colt Staring and Horse Training Program

Clients will learn and grow alongside their horses, learning patience, problem-solving skills, and being consistent while teaching their horses’ life skills. Residents will learn that horses, just like people, have different needs and unique personalities. They will come to understand that working with horses is hard work, particularly raising colts from infancy to adulthood. The total emergence in such work will increase their own self-awareness which will speed up progress in treatment. Talbot Recovery Solutions utilizes the AES Equine System as developed by professional horseman Mike Randall and Carolle Bell, PhD, LCSW. Residents will work one on one with the horse; we do very little group work in the“Equine Area”.

Professional Horseman Mike Randall

Mike began his career as a professional horseman in 1986 when he went to work as a cowboy for Deseret Ranches of Florida, which is one of the largest ranches in the United States with over 40,000 head of cattle. While there he learned so many things at DRF, but the one thing that stands out is how well organized he had to be to care for such a large herd. Each team consisted of three cowboys for a unit of 3,000 cows. Next Mike and his wife opened JM Randall Training Stables, training race horses and starting colts for ranchers and arena cowboys. The hired hands consisted of youth going through difficult times in their life. In 1994, they won the Dixie Downs Thoroughbred Futurity with a filly named Gallastaff.

In 1996, Mike found another passion when he accepted a position coaching football and wrestling at the High School level. In 2003, he was voted the 2A Utah State Wrestling Coach of theYear. Currently, he is an assistant wrestling coach for the Red Storm Wrestling Club at Dixie State College. Since 2005, Mike has worked with several Residential Treatment Centers as their Equine Facilitators. Over the years, he has developed an extensive curriculum utilizing horses in recovery. Mike is also an EAGALA certified horseman and is frequently a presenter at the EAGALA conferences. Mike is excited to be a part of Talbot Recovery Solutions.

Why Horses?

With all of the animals that live on this planet, you might be wondering why horses are used in therapy at Lion’s Gate Recovery. After all, dogs, cats and birds are smaller and much easier to control. Horses are large animals that are strong yet gentle. In order to develop a good relationship with a horse, you must treat it with respect and kindness. If you mistreat a horse, it will not act favorably towards you. They will often rebel or put up a good fight if they are mistreated.

The benefit of using horses at Lion’s Gate Recovery is they have similar characteristics to those of humans. Horses like to interact with living things. They are clear about their boundaries, and they do not let people push them around. Every horse possesses a unique personality and different character traits. Another benefit of using horses at Lion’s Gate Recovery is they like to have fun and play. Through these fun interactions, patients are able to look at life in a different way. Patients are able to find alternative ways to have fun without depending on substances to make them feel better.

When patients interact with horses at Lion’s Gate Recovery, it causes them to push past self-imposed limitations and take risks. Patients have to strengthen their interpersonal skills if they want to develop positive relationships with horses.

Benefits of Equine Therapy

For the past 20 years, thousands of patients have benefited from Equine therapy throughout the world. In some cases, patients have succeeded in this therapy when other types of therapies have failed.

Equine therapy at Lion’s Gate Recovery is especially beneficial for patients who have difficulties relinquishing control. Patients who have to control the outcome of various situations are usually driven by fear and anxiety.

Horses will stand their ground and give resistance if they are controlled by human beings. Over time, patients with control issues will learn how to interact with horses and other people gently.

Common psychological issues that are helped by Equine therapy at Lion’s Gate Recovery are:

  • – Psychiatric disorders
  • – Substance abuse (marijuana, alcohol, drugs)
  • – Autism
  • – Schizophrenia
  • – Depression
  • – ADHD
  • – Traumas such as grief, divorce and loss

What Do Patients Learn from Equine Therapy?

The purpose of any effective therapy is to help patients learn new skills and techniques to help them cope with life without substances. As patients spend time in the open fields interacting with horses, they will learn:

  • – Respect and teamwork
  • – Integrity and self-worth
  • – Value of relationships
  • – Ways to be assertive without being aggressive
  • – Ways to heal from trauma
  • – How to establish and maintain positive and healthy relationships
  • – How to respect things that are different

Achieving sobriety is one thing. However, maintaining over a long period of time is challenging. By learning and implementing new skills, patients will be less likely to return to old ways and patterns of coping.

How to Select a Rehab Facility with Equine Therapy

If you are interested in enrolling in Equine therapy, there are a few things you should know. Equine therapy is not offered at every rehab facility. It is a specialized program that requires therapists and facilities to be licensed and certified. At Lion’s Gate Recovery, we are pleased to have Equine therapy as part of our treatment programs.

Another thing to be mindful of is each facility that uses Equine therapy provides the therapy in different settings. If you live in the Midwest, you might have your Equine therapy sessions on a ranch. If you live in New York City, your sessions may take place near a lake or in a secluded area. When you have your sessions, you can be certain that they will take place in a private area.

It is important to select a rehab facility that has therapists who are certified in Equine therapy. You should only select Equine therapists who have been formally trained to administer this type of therapy.

Equine therapists are certified by Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGLA), Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association (EFMLA) and North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA).

Each of these organizations has developed specific guidelines for administering Equine therapy. Equine therapists at Lion’s Gate Recovery have received many hours of training in proper techniques for Equine therapy.

Rehab Program Considerations

As you recovery from substance abuse, you want to have a certified team that will walk you through various stages of recovery. The road to sobriety can be filled with triumphs and challenges. A good rehab facility will provide ample support for you and your family.

Finding a drug rehab facility takes time and research. It is important for you to find a center that will give you the individualized attention that you deserve. Here are a few things to consider as you are searching for a recovery facility with Equine therapy in Utah.

  1. Certification – Not only should the therapist be certified, but the facility must be accredited as well. Certification ensures that therapists are using approaches that are proven and substantiated by years of research.
  1. Location – If you are a person who needs the support of your family, you should select a rehab facility that is within driving distance of your family.
  1. Family Support – Addiction affects you and your loved ones. An effective rehab facility will provide therapy sessions and support programs for parents, spouses, and children.
  1. Financial Obligation – Therapy is expensive. If you have insurance, determine the amount of money you will be required to contribute. If you are uninsured, ask our representatives about payment plans.
  1. Length of the Program – Some programs offer treatment plans that can last for 30 days. Other programs can be 60 days, 90 days or indefinitely.
  1. Types of Programs – Drug rehab facilities offer inpatient and out-patient programs. The type of program that will be beneficial for you is dependent on the severity of your addiction. At Lion’s Gate Recovery, we offer inpatient programs.

If you are looking for a drug rehab in Utah, Lion’s Gate Recovery is a great place to get the help you need. We are a residential rehab facility with over 25 years of success helping individuals work through their addictions. Our caring staff is committed to helping you find peace of mind and overcome your addiction.