Northbound Treatment Services maintains a private, exclusive Equestrian Center situated on the border of LA, Orange, and Inland Empire Counties. The Center boasts 28 acres of beautiful riding trails and streams. On the grounds sits a stunning covered pavilion, mature trees, great pockets of shade, historic stables and the perfect setting for an environment conducive to recovery. Our residents enjoy access year round to this beautiful setting while engaged in experiential activities, equine therapy and other relaxing activities.
Northbound offers Equine Therapy on a bi-weekly basis at the private Northbound Equestrian Center. Equine therapy is not riding horses; it is a structured therapeutic interaction with horses. Also called, Equine Facilitated Learning, Equine Therapy is the discipline of using horses as a means to provide metaphoric experiences in order to promote emotional growth. Clients have the opportunity to interact with the horse, and the way the client approaches and interacts with it is usually representative of feelings and approaches they have in other areas of their life. The goal is to help the individual discover for themselves some of these feelings/thoughts/behaviors that may not be as readily discovered without an experiential activity. Equine therapy programs are a great opportunity for clients who have trouble or resistance expressing themselves and being sociable. The horses provide an excellent way for these clients to react when they are otherwise therapy resistant. An expert in the field of Equine Facilitated Learning, Franklin Levinson states, “It’s been clinically proven that just being in the vicinity of a horse changes our brainwave patterns. They have a calming effect which helps stop people from becoming fixated on past or negative events-giving them a really positive experience.” This simple concept has significant results, including important psychological and social benefits:
Having a positive interaction with another living creature can help patients improve self-esteem, self-confidence and build a feeling of general well-being. In caring for a horse, clients are forced to recognize and meet the needs of another creature. The horses can also break down feelings of isolation that persons suffering from co-occuring disorders may feel toward other humans. Clients also are encouraged to be assertive in their interaction with the horse and learn to communicate in a way that the horse recognizes and responds to while building mutual trust. The trust that is built between a horse and individual helps get through many patients’ psychological barriers that may not be as easily breached in traditional psychotherapy.
When a client develops a relationship with a horse they learn how to interact with other human beings too. How they approach the horse becomes synonymous with how they approach other things and persons in their life. The qualities of respect, responsibility and caring are vital for a relationship with a horse as well as successful interaction in society. Equine therapy has been successfully used to rehabilitate individuals who have found themselves social outcasts.
Equine therapy has shown to have many more positive benefits when correctly taught by certified therapists. Some of them include:
- Decreased Isolation
- Impulse Control
- Social Skills
- Spiritual Connection
Equine Assisted Learning is a great addition to the comprehensive therapy menu offered at Northbound. When combined with the traditional forms of therapy offered through the Northbound Living Sober Phase System, the results are compelling and the visible change in the client is profound. The fact that this therapy occurs at a private facility with a small group of Northbound clients separates it from other available programs and positions Northbound Treatment Services at the top of area alcohol and drug dependency treatment centers.
To see if Northbound is right for you or a family member, go to: Are We Right for You?