Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is an experiential intervention that uses the principles of animal-assisted therapy to help clients find solutions to the problems they are facing.
Our therapist also offers traditional office therapy if you are not interested in EAP.
Our EAP program is based on the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning (EAGALA) model.
It is ground-based, so there is no horseback riding involved.
Individuals, families, and groups can utilize EAP.
We are a LGBTQIA+ affirming organization.
We currently treat children and adults with various mental health issues and human development needs. Please inquire to see if EAP is the right fit for you.
If you have an existing Mental Health Provider that is interested in becoming involved in EAP, please contact us.
At this time, we do not accept insurance but offer financial aid based on income. Please inquire about cost.
*EAGALA. (2019). Fundamentals of The Eagala Model (9th ed.). EAGALA.
EAP typically involves a team of people and horses. A Mental Health Professional (MH) utilizes their education and knowledge to provide effective interventions to the client. The Equine Specialist (ES) has extensive knowledge regarding horse behavior and body language and ensures the physical safety of both clients and horses. Overall, an EAP session typically consists of clients, horses, a MH, and an ES.
High Ethical Standards
The EAGALA model has a Code of Ethics and an ethics committee to maintain their high standards and ensure that EAGALA-certified professionals are using best practices*. Our therapist, Allison, is a Licensed Social Worker through the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board and abides by the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics.
The EAGALA model operates on the notion that clients have the power to find the best solutions for themselves*. EAP sessions often replicate a client's life events, relationships, and issues. Facilitators do not necessarily offer quick fixes to a client's problem, rather they remain open and allow the client to explore a multitude of solutions and use problem-solving skills to overcome the things they are struggling with*.
The Power of Horses
Horses have a social herd structure that looks similar to the social dynamics of humans*. As prey animals, they are highly attuned to their environments and focus on safety and survival. This aspect can be particularly helpful for clients that have experienced trauma*. Horses are sensitive to the body language and emotions of humans and can become symbols of the events and relationships in clients' lives*. They are large animals that can promote engagement, problem solving, and confidence in clients*.
Allison Griesdorn is a Licensed Social Worker and holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Mental Health and Addictions. She is supervised by a Licensed Independent Social Worker that has over a decade of experience with Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy. She also offers traditional office therapy if you are not interested in incorporating horses into your treatment. Allison is EAGALA certified as both a Mental Health Professional and an Equine Specialist. She grew up riding horses and is also a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor. She is passionate about helping people through horses. If a client's diagnosis and/or symptoms are not within Allison's scope of practice, she will refer them to a provider that can best meet their needs.
What to Expect
Our therapist will conduct an intake assessment to better understand the client's needs and background. The assessment will also include a diagnosis. From there, the therapist and client will work together to build a treatment plan that will guide future sessions. Scheduling will also take place.