What is EGALA?
The Equine Assisted Growth & Learning Association provides education, standards, innovation, and support to professionals providing services in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning around the world. EAGALA is committed to setting the standard of professional excellence in how horses and humans work together to improve the quality of life and mental health of individuals, families and groups worldwide.
What is Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL)?
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning. It is a collaborative effort between a mental health professional and a horse professional working with the clients and horses to address treatment goals. Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is similar but focuses on learning or educational goals.
The focus of EAP and EAL is not riding or horsemanship. It involves setting up ground activities with the horses which will require the student or group to apply certain skills. Activities with the horses are designed to reflect real life issues. This allows the student and therapist to “see” where the problems are and find solutions that work. students quickly recognize unhealthy patterns and enact new behaviors. The horses don’t accept “talk” -clients have to make sincere, life-long changes. People learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, and then discussing feelings, behaviors, and patterns.
7 WAYS EAGALA’S EQUINE ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY CAN HELP STUDENTS SUCCEED
1. Effectiveness. The EAGALA model creates interactive sessions with horses that allow students and therapists to “see” where the problems are and find ways to solve them. In the sessions, the focus is on doing, being active in-the-moment, and finding solutions that provide faster, more permanent change.
2. Uncovers the REAL student, quickly. Through experiential activities, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy helps you to immediately see how couples and individuals act and react to different situations, giving you a clearer picture of what you need to do to help.
3. Professionalism. The EAGALA model requires a licensed mental health care professional and an experienced horse professional working together as a team for the benefit of the client. EAGALA certification requires intensive training, continuing education, and adherence to a high standard of practice and ethics.
4. Makes the Process More Engaging. Because Equine Assisted Psychotherapy is active and effective, the process is more engaging for both professionals and their students. Once a horse enters the equation, everyone is instantly attentive and engaged in the process.
5. Gets Clients Past the Sticking Points. Everyone can hit a wall in therapy where the student remains stuck in old patterns and attitudes. The EAGALA model can help students get out of the rut and back on track.
6. Great for Individuals and Groups. Whether working with individuals or groups, the horses provide powerful opportunities to address social skills, communication issues, and other dynamics necessary for healthy, meaningful relationships.
7. Provides Real Solutions. EAGALA offers a model of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy where therapists and students alike are excited by the process. Whether used for treating all forms of addiction, trauma, social and behavioral disorders, and other issues, students find the sessions meaningful leading to real and long-lasting change.