Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)

Interested in EAP? The use of horses to process and develop skills for individuals struggling with a variety of mental health needs including anxiety, depression and life transitions has proven a valuable therapy. Horses provide a honest and real reflection of emotion and herd behaviors. Because horses, unlike people, have no need for fakeness or insincerity, excercises that utilize horses can evoke a variety of experiences that help clients recognize their own behaviors and patterns to elicit their own solutions. 


What experience does Teresa have to do this work?

Teresa has experience with her own equine partner, Freeway (above), and has dedicated and comitted a significant amount of time learning about horses and being in the presence of horses. She has been certified by Greg Kersten of the O.K. Corral Series as an equine specialist.

The ability to combine two of her passions, both mental health and horses, is exciting and she looks forward to continuing her education and comittment to both. Teresa has partnered with equine specialist Brandy at Rustic Heart Ranch to offer these therapy services to her clients.


Do I need to know about horses to do EAP?

Clients interested in EAP do not need to have any horse experience, in fact, some have never even had an experience with a horse!


What do I expect from a session? I'm not in an office?

Clients can expect to spend the entire session in the presence of a four legged instructor as well as a therapist and equine specialiast. You will be in an arena. Yep, that means that there will be dirt, sand, dust and occasionally mud! Sessions are indoor, unless weather cooperates and we can facilitate exercises outside. Sessions last on average 1 hour and typically include one exercise per session to focus on goals agreed upon by client and therapist. 


What do I wear? Do I have to have new boots to be in the barn?

You don't have to go buy special clothes or shoes to participate. Be prepared for your session. During the winter, dress appropriately. Coats and sweaters are recommended. Gloves and hats can also be helpful because even though they are indoor, it is not heated. During the summer, jeans and tee shirts are a must. Shorts and tank tops are not appropriate 'barn wear'. Shoes should be worn at all times, this means NO FLIP FLOPS!! Boots (cowboy, hiking, etc.) are always best when working with horses, but shoes that cover toes are a requirement.


Do I get to pick my horse? Can I ride? I see some that you work with and I really like one...

Though you may be meeting all of them, Teresa and Brandy will work to determine the horse that meets your needs best. Some horses have personality traits that match the needs of a particular exercise or need for goals, so if that happens, we will match you accordingly. All of our horses are loveable and have great qualitites that set them apart. Just like people, some of our horses have special needs and weight considerations when accomodating riders. Most of our work will be on the ground with the four legged instructors. As therapy progresses, it may be an option for you to introduce mounted exercises, if this is an option, it will be discussed as treatment continues. 


How do you bill for these services?
Because Picket Fence Therapy &
Rustic Heart Ranch are collaborating, you will be working with two separate businesses to participate in EAP services. You will work with Teresa to bill and utilize your insurance services, as you would in a therapy session. You will also be working with Brandy at Rustic Heart Ranch to provide the Equine Services. You will be billed separately for such. HRA and Health Savings Accounts can often be used for the equine services portion. 


How do I get started?

Just like traditional services, you will have to contact us to schedule a session and to see if your needs are a good fit for these services. Once a session is scheduled, see "TAKE THE FIRST STEP" to find out more about what you should expect or do to prepare. 





Feel free to call or contact us with questions! I look forward to hearing from you! 





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11515 Burnham Drive

(Inside Harbor Life Chiropractic)
 Gig Harbor, WA   98332

Phone: +1 253 3106226 +1 253 3106226



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