Harmony Farm offers several types of therapy, including cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT), parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT), behavior modification, and eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR). Our therapists can incorporate creative activities into these evidence-based treatments. During the course of therapy, therapists work with clients to determine if their treatment could be enhanced by such creative tools as equine-assisted psychotherapy, animal-assisted psychotherapy, narrative therapy, ecotherapy (Emily’s garden therapy!), to name a few.
* Cognitive Behavioral Therapy- assists clients who suffer from depression or other cognitive distortions
* Dialectical Behavioral Therapy- good therapy for self-harming clients and clients with mood swings
* Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy- for children and teens who have experienced trauma
* Parent-Child Interaction Therapy- great for little ones up to 6 1/2 years of age, especially to improve attachment
* Behavioral Modification- beneficial for children with defiance and/or ADHD
*Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing- an interactive therapy that is good for psychological stress, trauma, and/or PTSD
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, or EAP for short, is a team-based approach. Sessions are conducted by a facilitating team (treatment team) of a Licensed Mental Health Professional (MH) and a qualified Equine Specialist (ES) in all the client’s sessions. These professionals are Eagala Certified which means completion of specialized training in this model, requirements of ongoing continuing education and adherence to high standards of professionalism and practice. The Eagala model is the global standard for EAP. While both members of the team are involved in the therapy process, the role of the ES is to oversee physical safety needs and provide observations on the behaviors of the horses. The MH is there to oversee the psychotherapy process and help the client make the parallels of the horse observations to therapy goals and life. The horse is also part of our team, because they are an expert at being a horse. We believe that the client has the best answer for themselves somewhere deep inside and our job is to help figure out what that might look like. It is all ground based- so no horse back riding and it is solution focused. The client creates a task or we give a task to the client and then she goes out and has an experience with the horses. We enter into a metaphorical space where the client can tell their story and find their solutions in a safe and non-judgmental environment. We are not the experts, we are here to hold space for the client to find their own solution, so we can refer back to it if/when they turn to us for answers. We use symbolism and metaphors and then parallel that to whatever is going on in the client’s life.
We use horses because they are prey animals- always on the lookout for danger. They give immediate feedback and will mirror whatever is going on in our own lives. We have 3 basic rules: dress for the weather, wear closed toed shoes, and we trust that you will keep yourself safe. The horses will do what they need to do to keep themselves safe and we ask that you do the same. We also ask that you give it 3 sessions before deciding it definitely is not for you. We also tell whoever brings the client that if they want to talk about it, that’s great, if not- that’s fine too. If they do talk about it, approach with curiosity and refrain from telling them how to do things or how things should be.
Tasks can be as simple as “observe what they are doing”, to exploring relationships, moving them, or create something (like an obstacle course or a safe place). We start where the client is, and usually that is with observe or notice the horses, then move to feeling comfortable in the space with developing relationships with the horses.