Frequently Asked Questions About Equine Assisted Counseling (EAC)

Why Should I Do EAC Instead of a Regular In-Office Counseling Session?


Do you find it difficult to sit still or difficult to do a lot of homework from therapy?  Have you found yourself stuck and unable to move past a difficult situation or circumstance?  If so, EAC could be a good fit for you.  In EAC you have the opportunity to actually practice the skills you are learning and involve your whole body, not just your thoughts, in a real life situation.  It is experiential which can often get to the deeper core issues much faster that in turn allows you to see changes happen much quicker.

How Does It Work?


EAC works because you are up and moving; your whole body is engaged.  This full body engagement provides in-the-moment practice of real life events and its experiential nature also allows for spontaneous self-exploration and healing.  EAC provides individuals, families, couples and groups the opportunity to find lasting solutions.  This type of active counseling allows learning to occur faster and can be felt immediately.

The focus of EAC is not riding or horsemanship but rather self-exploration, insight, skills building, and learning.  Horses, being social animals, are natural communicators.  Through relationship and structured activities in EAC, horse and human interact with and impact each other emotionally and behaviorally.  The horse's honest emotional responses provide opportunities for immediate feedback and changes in maladaptive, problematic, or unwanted behavior and thinking patterns.

Naturally intimidating to many, horses are large and powerful.  This creates a natural opportunity to overcome fear and develop confidence.  Working alongside a horse, in spite of those fears, provides wonderful insight when dealing with other intimidating and challenging situations in life.  EAC does not throw out traditional talk-therapy methods, but combines several well-known techniques like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma Focused Therapy, Solution Oriented Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy; to name a few, with the unique gifts horses can offer you.

How Long Does It Take?


This all depends on what you are coming to counseling for and what your goals for treatment are.  For some people it may only be a handful of times while for others it may be over the course of a year or more.  At least 15 weekly sessions is often recommended.  Again this varies situation to situation, client to client.

Who Is EAC For, Individuals or Families?


EAC is for men, women, and children, individuals, families, and groups.  With children it all depends on their level of understanding so we often advise that they are at least 7 years old.

If you have additional questions about your circumstances please call us at 330-359-6100.

If I Do EAC Will I Be Able To Decrease My Medication(s)?


While EAC can transform your life there is no guarantee that doing EAC will mean you can decrease or stop your medication(s).  We recommend that you consult your prescribing physician before making any changes to your medication(s).

Who And/Or What Else Is Involved?


Each session is conducted with one or more horse(s) and a designated Equine Specialist and Therapist.

Is Riding Involved?


The focus of EAC is not riding or horsemanship but rather an opportunity to learn about non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking, problem solving, leadership, responsibility, teamwork, relationships, self-exploration, and confidence.  Currently the majority of the work is done on the ground, but in the future SpringHaven's Equine Program will have a riding component.

Do I Need Horse Experience? What If I Have No Experience With Horses?


No one needs to have horse experience to have an Equine Assisted Counseling (EAC) session here at SpringHaven. We just ask that you keep an open mind and come with the willingness to challenge your unhealthy patterns. We will start wherever you are at and progress at your pace. 

What Do I Wear?


Dress for the weather and in clothes you do not mind getting dirty.  Also wear shoes that fully enclose your feet and that will stay on when walking through sand or mud; your shoes are bound to get dirty no matter where we conduct sessions.

Can I Give The Horses Treats?


Please do not give our horses treats.  Only staff is allowed to feed our horses.

Are The Horses Specially Trained?


No our horses are not specially trained, but having healthy relationships with clients has helped them to change their behaviors and interact differently with all of us.



© 2017 SpringHaven Counseling Center

Mt. Eaton Office - 330.359.6100
Fountain Office - 330.927.2020