Author

Kelly J. Boyd

Publication Date

2013

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department

School for Social Work

Keywords

Horses-Therapeutic use, Horsemanship-Therapeutic use, Horsemanship-Psychological aspects, Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association, Equine, Equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP), EAGALA

Abstract

This qualitative study set out to explore equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP) under the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) model. As EAP is still a fairly new modality of therapy, the intention of this study is to add to the growing EAP literature. Interviews were conducted with fifteen EAGALA certified mental health practitioners (MH) and equine specialists (ES) with the intent to explore their professional insights, personal experiences and perspectives regarding EAP. EAP facilitators discussed the structure, benefits and challenges of the EAGALA model. These EAGALA model EAP facilitators also discussed the therapeutic modality of EAP -- revealing its own benefits and challenges. Study results supported existing literature in terms of the benefits that EAP can offer to diverse populations who are experiencing a range of psychological challenges. Insights revealed facilitators' observations about the power and effectiveness behind EAP. The experiential nature of working with horses as a therapeutic tool offers hope to situations where there may have been none. Findings also indicated EAGALA's credibility and valuable training and certification program for equine therapy. Implications of this investigation point to the need for further quantitative research, as equine therapy is still an emerging treatment modality offering considerable therapeutic benefits.

Language

English

Comments

vi, 52 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 43-48)