What is EFP/EFL?

Equine-facilitated learning (EFL) is described as an “experiential (hands on) learning approach that promotes the development of life skills through equine-assisted activities”
Equine-facilitated psychotherapy (EFP) is an experiential (hands on) approach to Counselling, Psychotherapy and Mental Health that supports clients of all ages in addressing therapeutic goals.
It is a complementary therapy designed to help clients learn about themselves by discussing their feelings, behaviours, and patterns. To gain insight and understanding on the impact of negative behaviours on others and to help the client in social, emotional, cognitive, or behavioral ways.
It is a powerful, effective and integrative approach using horses as co-facilitators, that incorporates a range of treatments to promote physical and emotional growth in clients who have experienced issues related to abuse, severe neglect and other mental health problems.
EFT/EFL generally includes activities with horses but does not necessarily involve riding. Therapeutic sessions may include instruction on grooming, saddlery, feeding and ground exercises.

Why use EFP/EFL?

When correctly guided by a professional therapist equine therapy has many positive benefits in dealing with stress, the effects of negative experiences in early childhood, trauma, fear and attachment issues.

EFT/EFL and the healthy relationship established with horses has proven to be effective in addressing specific issues, improve mood, levels of anxiety and the overall sense of well-being. In addition, a decrease in hypervigilance, the encouragement of authenticity and expression of hidden feeling/thoughts and an overall improvement in the sense of power/control can be evidenced. Positive benefits of EFT/EFL are also evident in relation to confidence, self-worth, self-perception, communication, trust, respect, perspective, self-acceptance, impulse control, boundary setting, assertiveness/aggression, responsibility/accountability, problem solving/cooperation, teamwork and social skills.

EFT/EFL works well alongside any other therapeutic interventions that clients may be involved with.


How do I know it is right for me?/What is the Process?

On referral the specific needs of the individual will be identified in a profile completed by the client/carer. A sessional plan including objectives will be developed based on this and an introductory session will be arranged with the client. Additional sessions will be organised thereafter. Each session will be observed/assessed and a debrief will be held with the client. A weekly evaluation form reflecting comments of the client and therapists will be completed. This will be used to inform the specific programme and develop subsequent sessions.