Equine Assisted Mindfulness
Standing Hope Equine Therapy utilizes mindfulness based practices to address equine assisted psychotherapy treatment goals. Mindfulness based practices are designed to deliberately focus one’s attention on the present experience in a way that is non-judgmental. Mindfulness has its roots in Eastern techniques, in particular Buddhist meditation. The practice requires that one intentionally directs focus away from states of mind that would otherwise occupy them, such as frightening or worrisome thoughts, and instead observe and accept the present situation and all it has to offer.
At Standing Hope Equine Therapy we use a combination of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) (Also referred to as Equine Assisted Mindfulness (EAM) to address treatment goals. Horses are amazing facilitators of this mindful awareness because they are naturally oriented towards maintaining focus on the present moment. By interacting with our equine partners, humans are also called to be present in the moment. The activities of equine assisted mindfulness require clients to pay attention to what is happening with their bodies throughout the session and notice patterns of thinking that impede being present. Through this process, clients learn to practice gentle
loving-kindness and cultivate a deeper connection with the natural world.