The specific aims of this study were to: (1) examine the beliefs of equine assisted psychotherapy providers which inform their practice; and, (2) understand the meaning and experience of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) from the provider's point of view. EAP is a relatively new experiential approach involves using interactions with a horse to improve the mental well-being of human clients. Clients are supported by a two-person therapy team, the equine specialist (ES) and the mental health therapist (MH). The three articles in this dissertation examine different aspects of the EAP provider experience. The first focuses on provider beliefs about the horse. In EAP, horses are given greater independence and freedom to make its own decisions and engage in natural behaviors, which then shapes therapeutic outcomes. The article examines the provider's perceptions of the horse and how they feel the client/horse interactions can result in positive outcomes. The second article examines the ES/MH relationship, a unique professional/paraprofessional dyad in which each partner has a unique but equal role. Participants discussed how they negotiated these roles, as well as the challenges which arose. Finally, EAP was examined in the context of therapeutic recreation, discussing potential benefits, how well EAP fits in current treatment models, and programmatic considerations. A hypothetical case study is presented as a possible example with a juvenile client.
|Advisor:||McCormick, Bryan P.|
|Commitee:||Frey, Georgia, McLeod, Jane, Van Puymbroeke, Marieke|
|Department:||School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-B 75/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Health sciences, Recreation|
|Keywords:||Equine assisted psychotherapy, Equine facilitated psychotherapy, Experiential therapy, Health promotion, Recreation therapy, Therapeutic recreation|
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