LEAP’s aim is to provide options for children, youth, adults, and families whose needs are not being met in traditional therapeutic settings. We work independently or in collaboration with other providers to help patients break through barriers and move on to their next level of treatment.
Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy is especially helpful in working through the emotional roadblocks and issues experienced by abused and neglected children, troubled youths, and adults who have suffered emotional traumas or struggle with mental health difficulties.
The horse, being a highly sensitive social creature, gives immediate feedback to the patient about his or her behavior and feelings. Horses mirror the patients’ behavior. Negative approaches with the horse produce negative results and positive approaches produce positive, highly rewarding results. This feedback helps the patient discover effective ways of managing and overcoming characteristic challenges in their lives.
All LEAP sessions are conducted by a therapeutic team, consisting of one or more licensed mental health professionals, a horse professional and one or more horses. All clinical staff members are certified by EAGALA. Click here to visit the EAGALA website.
Individuals- LEAP helps individuals address a wide variety of psychiatric diagnoses and life issues. Working with the LEAP staff and horses assists individuals in understanding and finding solutions to problems that they face in their everyday lives.
Couples- LEAP couples therapy is a creative, unique way to help reawaken the fun and passion within your relationship. Working with the LEAP staff and horses together helps couples understand the characteristic patterns that have developed in their relationship, helps identify mis-perceptions of intentionality, and facilitates new, positive approaches to their lives together.
Family- LEAP helps families come together in a fun, creative way to address their family issues. Family dynamics become readily apparent as the family works together to achieve a goal with the therapy horses. Families that have been avoiding contact with one another or resorting to anger or other negative behavior find new solutions that carry over into their daily lives. Family therapy at LEAP is a great way to be together, while building a better understanding and appreciation of each other.
Individual- Adolescents characteristically 'act out' their feelings and issues. Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy at LEAP is especially suited to this developmental stage because it allows the adolescent to work in an action-oriented, experiential way with the horses to better understand themselves and the feelings that are driving their problematic behavior.
Group- Adolescence is a time for peer relationships, and group therapy at LEAP allows adolescents to be together in a fun, engaging activity. A great deal of vicarious learning takes place as the teens explore solutions to challenges set by the therapeutic team and the horses. Communication and problem solving are enhanced, as well as a better understanding of their behavioral impact on others. LEAP learning readily carries over to school and home environments.
Family -Adolescence is a difficult transition between the dependency of childhood and independence of adulthood. LEAP helps adolescents participate with their families in an engaging, creative way to address family issues. Relying on action and the experiential modality, LEAP is less threatening to adolescents and they are less likely to be resistant than in traditional, office-based family therapy.
Individual- Although feeling deeply, children are typically less able to express their thoughts and feelings in words. Working with the LEAP therapy horses allows a child to tell their horse's story, which is actually a version of their own, to the LEAP therapists. As the child attempts to achieve a goal with the horse, they readily learn that their characteristic, problematic behavior takes them farther away from success, while emotional regulation, good communication, and creative problem solving lead to success.
Family- LEAP helps children come together with their families in a fun, play-like way to address family issues. Every member of the family is important in achieving the goal(s) with the LEAP therapy horse(s), and children who can often feel discounted or of diminished value become an important part of family success. Family dynamics become readily apparent as the family works together to achieve a goal with the therapy horses, and parenting issues can be more easily identified.
Group- Children learn valuable emotional/psychological skills working in groups at LEAP. Communication, problem solving, interpersonal awareness and social skills groups are conducted regularly at LEAP.