Horses Can Help People Overcome Emotional Health Issues, Where Other Treatments Have Failed

Equine Involvement Therapy Facility brings a New and Unique Approach to solving the ever-growing incidence of stress, depression and anxiety-related problems.

Ever known you need help, but been reluctant to seek it? Counseling with the involvement of horses provides the answer. A therapy that is powerful, gentle, natural, holistic and outstandingly effective.

Animals are far easier to relate to than people, as they are non-judgmental, accepting and forgiving. Absolutely no previous knowledge of horses is required and a fear of them could be an advantage. Employing the natural perception, insight, intuition and instincts of the horse and combining them with very specialized counselling, and where appropriate hypnotherapy, opens the mind to the true nature of our problems, connects us with the person we want to be and offers a solution. Horses can read us like an open book and show us how to re-write the pages.

The Equine Therapy Involvement facility run by Jo Corfield, has produced some extraordinary results, as experienced by a man in his 40s who was suffering from stress and depression after being made redundant and losing his house and wife. He said, ‘Working through my problems with Jo and the horses did not take my problems away but it did make me see everything from a very different perspective, I now know this is a new beginning not the end and am looking forward to what the future has to offer. The horses helped me see that the way I think affects both my actions and experiences of life.’

The horses appear to read our thoughts, by picking up on the imperceptible changes to our physiology, caused by minute chemical responses in the brain and the constant variations in the unseen energy fields that surround us. The horses are so perceptive to these changes, they can sense the tiny reactions made by the unconscious thoughts behind our conscious thoughts; it is these thoughts that often create the problems that need to be addressed.

A young woman in her 30s suffering from very low self-esteem learned, that by mastering her thoughts and altering the energy they created, she could cause miraculous changes to the way the

15-hand gelding, Comet, responded to her, and in so doing realized she could apply the same technique at work with her abusive boss.

A disruptive adolescent changed her attitude dramatically when she saw her behaviour reflected back to her, by Jo’s chestnut pony, Gus. The pony helped her realize how destructive her behaviour had been. She said, ‘I felt really intimidated by the pony’s attitude towards me and could finally see that that was the affect I was having on other people. This experience has made me far more aware of who I am. I don’t want be this way anymore. The pony’s attitude towards me changed completely when I was thinking in a more respectful and considerate way and it made me feel good about myself.’

The horses offer a perfect environment for adults, adolescents and children, which encourages self-acceptance, a strong sense of pride in the tasks that are being completed and nurtures a feeling of real achievement, fulfilment and satisfaction; sometimes for the first time ever, offering release from some deeply rooted emotions. Anger, aggression, low self-esteem and anxiety particularly, can be replaced by feelings of self-assurance, self-worth and self-respect.

A young man with a drink problem and severe depression found that by deeply connecting with the horses, he was able to re-connect with who he really was and find a permanent release from his despair.

He said, ‘I found that by focusing my thoughts, watching and learning from the horses’ attitude to living in the moment, as well as broadening my own very limited outlook on life, I could begin to see that I had narrowed my vision of life and the way I perceived everything down to the size of a pin head. I could not see the wood for the trees, but now I can see a way out, as everything is so much clearer. Giving up the drink is hard but it is possible.’

Horses are extremely, intelligent, intuitive, sensitive, prey animals, which survive on the hyper-vigilance of the herd; they rely on the participation of every member to protect the safety of the herd, from the potential threat of predators. Horses see and react to the conscious and unconscious changes, incongruities, conflicts and emotions that we are constantly experiencing; they do not interpret emotion as we do, looking at it instead, as a vital message upon which to act. With the help of the counselor, Jo Corfield, the information gleaned from the horses’ reaction and behaviour is used as essential material, to help the client become aware of where their problems lie and what needs to be done to overcome them.

Jo Corfield founded Hopethruhorses Equine Involvement Therapies, after qualifying as a counselor and hypnotherapist, she studied equine and human psychology and looked extensively at the enormous benefits to be gained by human and equine interaction. Her therapy was developed from years of research and working with and learning from her very special black mare, Bronwen. She said, ‘I learned how to communicate, interact and connect effectively with the horses, from a horse whisperer, he taught me how to look deep within myself, for the answers to the problems my horse was having, in the process I completely overcame the self-destructive and negative feelings that caused me to suffer from Anorexia and Bulimia for many years. It was from my own experiences that Equine Involvement Therapy came alive.’

The healing power of horses has been well documented; these beautiful, peace-loving creatures, offer a unique solution to problems relating to stress, anxiety or depression. As the pressures of everyday life increase, there is an answer in Equine Involvement Therapy that takes us back to the quiet realities of communing with animals as nature intended.

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