Healing anxiety and depression with the help of animal therapy - DatelineCarolina

Healing anxiety and depression with the help of animal therapy

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Equine specialist Christy Rew said she has seen quick improvement with clients through equine assisted psychotherapy. Equine specialist Christy Rew said she has seen quick improvement with clients through equine assisted psychotherapy.
Clients interact with horses at Pathways Growth and Learning Center to help with anxiety and depression. Clients interact with horses at Pathways Growth and Learning Center to help with anxiety and depression.

 By: Dawn Logg

Animals are often used to help with healing therapy. Pathways Growth and Learning Center offers equine assisted psychotherapy services that allow people to engage in activities with horses.

Stephanie Bowman says it is an alternative to traditional therapy.

"One of the things that's so different about equine assisted psychotherapy is that it is experimental," she said. "When we're out here with the horses and doing different activities then any of these issues of frustrations or poor coping will surface during the session and then they have the chance to apply the new skills right there with the horse."

Clients have the opportunity to work through activities with the horses and it is not always a simple process.

"It was definitely more difficult than I thought it would be, I don't expect problems, life isn't always that easy," one Pathways client said.

Equine specialist Christy Rew says she has seen very quick results with clients through the program.

"They are so honest, they give feedback immediately to the person that's working with them," Rew said.

"They are mirrors to the things that are going on within themselves and also within the person that's working with them."

Horses are perceptive animals that can sense the mood of the person they are working with.

"What you tend to see is that horses unlock the potential for interaction quicker," Rew said.

Equine assisted psychotherapy has proven to be more beneficial for some people as opposed to other traditional forms of therapy.

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