Natural Lifemanship’s TF-EAP: The New Standard in Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy
The increased need for effective interventions and the difficulty of working with various populations in the mental health field have resulted in the design of many non-traditional approaches to therapy such as various experiential therapies, animal-assisted therapy, numerous expressive therapies, wilderness therapy, and adventure-based therapy. One intervention that has arisen out of this need is equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP). EAP is a generic term that involves using horses or other equine to facilitate sessions for clients with a variety of mental health concerns. EAP is an emerging therapeutic intervention used in a variety of mental health settings as the primary therapeutic modality or as an adjunct to therapy. As a result, numerous organizations have begun to train and certify Mental Health professionals and Equine Professionals in the use of EAP.
Natural Lifemanship for the mental health field is an eclectic and comprehensive model of EAP. Natural Lifemanship incorporates many of the principles, theories, and practices of other EAP organizations, such as The Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA), the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) and the Equine Guided Education Association (EGEA). However, NL importantly emphasizes the principles guiding the horse-human relationship over any specific practices or techniques. The relationship is the center of everything we do at NL. It is both the means and the end of TF-EAP. It is both the driver of transformation and the reward at the end of the process. When it comes to the healing of trauma and most mental health disorders, an integrated, healthy relationship with self and others is the goal.
Natural Lifemanship for the mental health field facilitates a process whereby clients are able to address and move through past or present damaging life circumstances, understand how those circumstances affect their current interactions, and make the personal changes necessary for healthy, fulfilling relationships in the present and future.