Harnessing the Power of Equine Assisted Counseling
Adding Animal Assisted Therapy to Your Practice
by Kay Sudekum
Edition: 1st., 2012
When I began my doctorate dissertation research on equine assisted counseling (EAC), I was studying at the University of North Texas to become a licensed professional counselor and knew little about horses.
I had always been fascinated by the powerful animal–human bond and wanted to explore whether the anecdotal feel-good stories about horses helping people had any clinical validity. Under the guidance of Cynthia Chandler, developer and director of the Center for Animal AssistedTherapy, I compared the experiences of children and adolescents who participated in a 12-week EAC program with those who remained in a classroom for traditional guidance counseling. The results proved decisively that using a horse in counseling sessions gets clinically significant
results in increasing positive behaviors while also decreasing negative behaviors in clients.
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