Out Side In therapists are skilled and experienced in providing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to treat a variety of emotional and mental health issues. Using horses as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan has been shown to improve the outcomes of traditional therapy.
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) uses horses as a tool to promote social and emotional growth in people. Through working with horses, those who have been victims of trauma or who have other emotional or mental health issues can begin to heal through the connection and interactions with the horses they are working with. EAP is not about riding. In fact, all of the activities take place on the ground. Clients learn about themselves and others by participating in structured activities with the horses, then processing their feelings, behaviors, and patterns. By relating their experiences with the horses to other people and issues in their lives, clients can begin to examine their negative behaviors and understand how to change them into positive behaviors. Aside from the distinctive use of 1200-pound animals as a therapeutic tool, the ability to escape from four office walls is very effective in quickly reaching the heart of a client's issues. The corral or pasture provides a natural setting that is different from the office. Another benefit of EAP is that the activities inherently demand an immediate reaction from the clients. From the first moment they are presented with a horse, clients use the same coping mechanisms as they do with other stressful factors in their lives. Therefore, issues usually rise to the surface much more quickly during EAP than they do in the office, and thus the issues can be dealt with sooner.