What are Teen Therapy Groups at Project Horse?
Designed for teens dealing with depression, anxiety and other emotional challenges, our therapy groups provide a unique, innovative and fun program designed to help participants deal with their emotional challenges as well as better understand how those challenges impact their lives and relationships. The program is non-riding.
In this group, clients are encouraged to explore their own emotional process, building relationships with the horses and each other through interactive tasks in a group format. For each adolescent, this is a collaborative process with a safe, nonjudgmental and honest companion. The experience gives the clients a sense of mastery of self and promotes a nurturing environment where they can exercise authority and control in a healthy manner. Over time, they learn coping skills to manage anxiety, depression and the impact of childhood trauma. They learn to read and adapt to the nonverbal cues given by their equine companions and increase their understanding of empathy and healthy boundary setting. With the help of the therapist and equine specialist, clients learn to recognize, verbalize, and practice their awareness and use of these new skills, as well as assess their emotional growth.
Clients are encouraged to expand these newfound skills by putting them into practice in other areas of their lives. The primary goals of the group are:
1. Learning to identify feelings and communicate them safely
2. Identifying unhealthy patterns of behavior and learning coping skills
3. Practicing healthy problem solving skills
4. Forming trusting therapeutic relationships
5. Identifying progress, strengths and self-validation
Horses make outstanding “coaches” and help the girls in numerous ways—while promoting self-esteem and improving self awareness. The horses are naturally nonjudgmental and sociable, and horses create a very motivating learning environment. Horses also provide immediate cause-and-effect feedback. The hands-on experiential format of our group empowers clients and instills a sense of responsibility.
Our clinician, Leslie Roberts, LPC, CSAC, can help you determine whether or not this group would be a good fit for your daughter and your family. With your permission, we will happily coordinate with any other key treatment or therapy providers.
PRIOR HORSE EXPERIENCE IS OPTIONAL.