Horses Helping People Help Themselves Overcome Problems Related to Anxiety by MarijanStefanovic


									Horses Helping People Help Themselves Overcome Problems Related to Anxiety, Stress,
and Depression The concept of employing horses to help people overcome their
emotional or physical problems, is not a new one, riding for the disabled, retired race
horses helping autistic children, are well known examples. Horses used in conjunction
with psychotherapy, is also extremely successful and in all these cases the horses become
a tool to empower the client and when used with psychotherapy the horses' ability to
mirror human behaviour has enormous benefits in helping people have a better
understanding of themselves. They have a very important role to play in all these
therapies, the main one being to give people the opportunity to improve their quality of
life, or to help people see more clearly how their state of mind or behaviour is holding
them back. The definition of involvement is 'to connect a person with something', or to
include something or someone as a necessary element'. Equine Involvement Therapy is
all about connecting with the horses, and seeing how the way they live naturally within
the herd can teach us to live at peace with ourselves. Horses are extremely, intelligent,
intuitive, sensitive, prey animals that have evolved with a highly tuned ability to sense
exactly what is going on in the minds of those around them even at a distance. This
ability is vital to the survival of the herd, each member has to be acutely aware of the
moods of all the other members in order to instantly pick up any danger signals. If these
signals are not sensed throughout the herd immediately, then the herd becomes
vulnerable to possible life threatening predators. Horses react to even our most
suppressed emotions, exactly as they would to another member of the herd, using what
they see as information to act upon. They do not interpret emotion as we do, instead they
look at the vital message it gives to them. By adopting a more equine approach to how we
deal with our emotions we can begin to look closely at what it is that the horses are
picking up from us, and use this information to really reconnect with those previously
hidden feelings and look at the messages behind them. Connecting to the equine way of
thinking we learn to view life from a much wider perspective. Horses naturally have a
vast area of peripheral vision as do all prey animals, but not only do they see the world
that way visually but with all their senses permanently on high alert, they rarely narrow
down their focus as we are so prone to doing, living instead in a constantly moving living
world where now, is all that matters. If we apply that concept to dealing with our
problems how much smaller they would become, it is the very act of focusing that creates
a problem, out of something that, in the right proportions is either normal or at least
manageable. It is also our thoughts of the past or the future that make us fearful. If we
emulate the horses ability to live only for the moment how much happier we could be.
Once we have really seen the benefits of connecting with the horses, watched and learned
from their instinctive behaviour, accepted the knowledge, and awareness of ourselves,
that being with them has shown us, the horses can then teach us to move forward, away
from our limiting negative thoughts, feelings, and beliefs by showing us how to
strengthen and maintain the connections we have with them bringing out the qualities
they look for in a leader. The way we perceive ourselves is reflected in our interactions
and communications with other people and what we project, is mirrored back, in the way
people react to us. If we feel worthless and lack self- respect, we tend to find that people
look at us, and behave towards us in that way too. If however we reconnect with the
qualities that a horse would attribute to a leader, inner strength, self-control, discipline,
empathy, initiative, assertiveness and focus, we will find that we portray a very different
picture and the reflection that is mirrored back, can only be positive. Joanna Corfield Diphyp, Dipcouns,
Cert SM. The combination of horses, counselling and hypntherapy create a powerful and
unique answer to depression, stress, anxiety and related problems, often achieving truly
remarkable results. Hopethruhorses, Equine Involvement Therapies, Oxfordshire.

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