What is EAAC Therapy?

EAAC stands for Equine and Animal Assisted Counseling, a therapeutic modality that helps traumatized individuals build a relationship with a horse or other animal to bring about transformation and healing. There are many hardships in life that can cause intense emotional trauma such as: abuse, neglect, domestic violence, divorce, mental illness, substance abuse, death or imprisonment of a caregiver, or living in a war zone. Research has shown that the effects of traumatic childhood or adult experiences can be long lasting and change social, emotional, and cognitive functioning. At Ranch Hands Rescue’s innovative counseling center, we seek to intervene to change these outcomes.

    • EAAC can help treat:
        • Severe Trauma
        • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
        • Anxiety
        • Depression
        • Grief
        • Addiction
        • Eating disorders
        • Behavioral problems
        • Other mental health issues

How does it work?

At the core of all mental health issues is relationships: relationships with ourselves and relationships with others. Through emotionally connecting with our animals, clients experience relationships akin to those they have in the real world. In EAAC, horses and other farm animals respond honestly to our behaviors and internal states. When they are involved in the counseling process, people become aware of emotional, behavioral, and relational patterns that otherwise may remain hidden.

As the animals give feedback to clients in the moment, our counselors help identify unhealthy behavioral patterns, then they introduce new habits for clients to practice. The animals at Ranch Hands Rescue have their own trauma to bear, which further strengthens the relationship bond. Coupled with a serene, soothing landscape, our ranch promotes a unique brand of healing.

We use only Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) and LPC Interns with advanced college degrees who are highly trained in traditional and modern, effective treatment modalities. Many of the same concepts which are utilized in traditional therapy are also used in EAAC, such as cognitive distortions, passive, assertive, aggressive behavior, empathy, boundaries, and self-regulation, but these concepts are able to be played out experientially.

What’s the difference between EAAC and riding therapy?

We are not a riding therapy program, and only specialize in helping people overcome the negative effects of trauma. Riding therapy centers traditionally focus on treating physical challenges and cognitive disorders. In fact, we are unique in that we are the only non-profit Equine and Animal Assisted Counseling program in the country that focuses solely on mental health counseling, partnering clients with abused and neglected animals, facilitated by Licensed Professional Counselors with advanced college degrees and special training in trauma informed therapy. Because we are also helping abused animals heal (physically and emotionally), we do not offer riding therapy services.

Interested in Equine/Animal Assisted Counseling for yourself or a loved one? Contact us here or call us for more information

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