The military (armed forces)
“EAP has been a treatment option for combat veterans with PTSD since approximately 2002. There has been a high rate of satisfaction reported by veterans, practitioners, and veterans' families. It is believed that EAP will help veterans safely re-integrate into society and live higher-quality lives.”
Nancy Masters, 2010
Equine-assisted therapy (EAP) has proven to be an effective intervention in treating soldiers and veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). The technique enables sufferers of combat-PTSD to recognise emotions and behaviour which may be preventing them from developing appropriate coping strategies and from making progress towards positive change. EAP can lead to enhanced self-awareness and confidence, and the ability to trust and to manage emotions and behaviour. Discover how EAP works.
Soldiers and veterans who have experienced violent and traumatic conflict scenarios can find themselves unable to cope with daily life. Estimates suggest that around 30% of combat veterans suffer from PTSD. Sufferers can be a risk to themselves and to others, including loved ones. They often face depression, anger and anxiety as well as drug- and/or alcohol-dependency, and may be violent or suicidal. They may experience insomnia, nightmares and hyper-vigilance. It can be very difficult for veterans to secure employment or to hold down relationships.
Shortcomings of other therapies
Finding diagnosis, effective treatments and funding for combat-PTSD can be problematic. Many therapy techniques can be difficult, because they rely on a lot of talking — which can cause additional suffering and may have an adverse effect.
The benefits of EAP
Equine-assisted psychotherapy is a safe, gentle, short-term and largely non-verbal intervention, offering a new and effective alternative to conventional therapies. It is increasing being used in conjunction with EMDR in this field, and we at HorseThinking are currently exploring this exciting therapeutic possibility. EAP can be used on its own or alongside other therapies and would typically require a series of 6 to 8 one-hour sessions, each overseen by a qualified psychotherapist as well as a certified horse professional.
Want to know more?
If you are a serving soldier or veteran, or a relevant health professional, please contact us to discuss, without obligation, how our EAP programme could help.