Horse Therapy and Troubled Teenagers

What kind of horse therapy can help your child? Nowadays, there are more and more treatment centers that use horse therapy as treatment for trouble teens. Various program for trouble teenagers are being offered. Generally, there are two types of treatment program for trouble teenagers: out-patient program and residential treatment.

Out-patient program

Program for out-patient is best when parents are initially introducing treatment to their trouble teen while at the same time letting him or her live with the family during the course of the treatment program.

• Psychological Evaluation
• Individual Therapy
• Family Therapy
• Group Therapy
• Diversion Programs
• Alternative Schools
• Day Treatment Programs
• Outpatient Drug Treatment

Residential treatment program

Residential treatment is advisable when the trouble teen’s behavior is risky, cannot be controlled or unresponsive to outpatient treatment program. Here is a quick list of what type of residential program to choose from:

• Temporary Shelters
• Group Homes
• Wilderness Therapy
• Residential Treatment Centers (RTC)
• Residential Drug Treatment
• Religious Based Programs
• Boot Camps
• Therapeutic Boarding Schools
• Psychiatric Hospitals
• Programs for Eating Disorders

Horse therapy can help trouble teenagers. A number of boarding schools offering residential treatment programs use equine therapy in dealing with teens having social and behavioral disorders as an area in counseling.

The role of endorphins

Agitated teenagers release endorphins when angry or defiant, or in an otherwise aggressive mood. When endorphins are released, these hormones create a healthy and balancing effect that decreases the stress-causing chemicals.

An opportunity to interact with animals (such as horses) provides the troubled teenagers a chance to learn how to control and manage animals. This helps keep a healthy chemical balance. In effect the chemical connection between the horse and the teenagers will help them in interacting with others.

Troubled teenagers can see in the horse’s stubbornness and reluctance to follow orders. This makes the teenagers realize how similar their behaviors are and understand their emotions and body languages, too. The sessions teaches him or her to work with the horse and recognize its body languages as he or she is taught to lead, groom and care for the horse in the horse therapy group sessions. They learn how to be sensitive and be aware of the horses’ emotions such as when horses feel nervous, relaxed, excited, frustrated or dangerous. Because the key to training and understanding a horse is the ability to identify the horses’ body language.

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