Learn about yourself — and the world
Healthy Frontier Counseling specializes in equine-assisted psychotherapy in Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin. Equine-assisted psychotherapy — EAP — targets self-esteem, improving communication skills and relationship dynamics. It’s a fresh way of thinking about counseling that has a proven track record of success.
We offer a number of different types of therapies centered on EAP — equine-assisted psychotherapy. We offer traditional therapy in an office setting as well as EAP in an equine-assisted arena setting. EAP uses horses to provide metaphoric therapy to promote emotional growth. Metaphoric therapy is a kind of psychotherapy that uses metaphor — a figure of speech — as a tool to help people express their experiences symbolically. We also offer:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Solution-focused therapy
- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy
- Behavior modification
How it works
By catching, haltering, grooming and participating in experiences with the horses, people learn about themselves by doing. How can an individual get a horse — sometimes with no halter, without touch, speech or bribery — to willingly follow direction? A person’s behaviors, thoughts and feelings can be reflected in the horse’s response. Most of the sessions at Healthy Frontier Counseling are conducted by a team composed of therapists, horse specialists, participants and horses.
Besides emphasis on experiential doing, further opportunity is offered outside the arena to help reflect and gain insight into behavior — thoughts and feelings — and to uncover their own “ah-ha” moments. These are valuable skills which transfer directly to the real world in which we all live, work and interact every day.
Like horses, we carry residue of our experiences. With these, we form beliefs about self, others, environment and relationships. We respond and react to our experiences accordingly. People have the capacity to create their own life stories and future visions, and horses have the capacity to guide us.
Horses instinctively understand natural processes that humans have often forgotten in our technological, fast-paced lives. Horses communicate roles, connection and relationships in the herd often using only body language and intention. Through connecting with this instinctive side of horses, humans can strengthen, heal and reclaim relationships in their lives in and beyond the arena.
As already noted, our equine-assisted psychotherapy program teams consist of horses and people. The horses have potential to highlight and guide your self-awareness as you work through activities designed by the facilitator. Interactions with our horse team provide experiences through which participants can recognize, acknowledge and accept their own patterns of behavior and communication. It is then possible to explore and practice more productive and helpful actions. Equine-assisted learning and equine-assisted psychotherapy programs consist of groundwork activities only.
Do I need to be experienced with horses?
No previous experience with horses is necessary, but if you do have experience with horses, then working in our arena may provide you with a new perspective on your interactions with these noble animals.
Basic safety when around the horses is part of our sessions, but these courses are not designed to teach skills in horsemanship.