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EAP and Addictions Counseling

What is Equine Assisted Therapy?

Equine assisted therapy is an experiential (hands-on) psychotherapeutic intervention involving horses as co-therapists. Therapy can be on an individual or group basis depending on the treatment needs. Participants learn about themselves by interacting in a series of specially designed activities with horses. EAP is not about riding horses. It's about therapeutic activities that take place on the ground under the guidance of a licensed psychologist and an equine specialist. Activities promote beneficial therapeutic healing and growth, by teaching the individual how to deal with, and learn about their own emotions. It helps people increase awareness as to how their emotions affect others and their daily lives.


Why For Addictions?

Communication and Feedback

Equine Therapy helps with communication skills. In working with the horses, clients get a new perspective on communication and honesty. Unlike other aspects of the addiction treatment program and treating chemical dependency, the feedback is supplied not by a counselor or fellow resident, but through the actions of the horse. It isn't like interacting with another person, our spouse or parent. Horses are highly acute of their surroundings and our intentions. We cannot gain the trust of the animal without being honest in our intentions, which doesn't always require words.


Another valuable lesson learned in this process is through asking for help. When in the throes of addiction, this can be a difficult thing. Before trust is established with the horse this can be necessary. Participants can experience some frustration as the horse is uncooperative. It is in these moments when one learns not to look at the horse as the problem, but look inwardly to themselves at their limitations.

Services available year-round.  Contact Cori Nichols (845) 616 – 3608.

Benefits of Equine Assisted therapy:


Increased self-awareness                             

Increased confidence

Improved social skills

Improved communication

Anxiety reduction

Greater trust



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