Equine-assisted therapy (EAT) encompasses a range of treatments that involve activities with horses and other equines to promote human physical and mental health. The use of EAT has roots in antiquity, and EAT applies to physical health issues in modern form dates to the 1960s. Modern use of horses for mental health treatment dates to the 1990s. Systematic review of studies of EAT as applied to physical health date only to about 2007, and a lack of common terminology and standardization has caused problems with meta-analysis. Due to a lack of high-quality studies assessing the efficacy of equine-assisted therapies for mental health treatment, concerns have been raised that these therapies should not replace or divert resources from other evidence-based mental health therapies.
Equine assisted healing is a powerful and effective method of working with people grappling with substance abuse, low self-esteem, psychological trauma from gang violence, sexual and physical abuse, to name a few of the issues that are addressed. Second Chance Trust aims to continue making equine-assisted interventions with the incorporation of leading edge experiential interventions an affordable and accessible therapeutic tool for disadvantaged communities and schools.
The process of engagement ensures that proper integration takes place and that we do not work in isolation of their holistic care. Second Chance Trust works with partner organisations who are actively involved in impoverished communities and supports a continuum of care after completion of the programme to complement and supplement existing programmes, and where possible seeks to further develop those who show good potential by sourcing further support and skills development via existing networks.
The 8 week Programme covers a range of objectives for each participant and incorporates basic step work throughout the duration of the programme, including:
- Week 1 Affirming Me (establishing trust)
- Week 2 Seasons of my life (self-awareness)
- Week 3 Stop running & start walking (addressing the use of substances)
- Week 4 Facing the chaos (Understanding my reality)
- Week 5 Working through the madness (addressing consequences)
- Week 6 Your choice – ( ONE Life ONE Choice)
- Week 7 Motivation (let’s move forward)
- Week 8 Reflections and next steps
Post Programme Support
Ongoing support of the programme participants is provided through the mandatory participation of the appointed Caregivers to ensure integration with their existing programmes as well as to provide Caregivers with a deeper insight and understanding of the challenges the youth are experiencing. This method has been adopted to facilitate a holistic approach in the continuum of care for each youth enrolled in the Programme.
Equine Programme Track Record & Impact Review
A total of 46 Programmes (256 participants) will have been delivered from 1 March 2016 to end May 2018