|Veterans and Service Members
Horse Activity Day
Spouses and Partners Welcome!
Held at the Presidio Riding Club
Marin Headlands, California
June 22, 2013
9:30 to 1:30
Check in and gathering at 9:00
A free of charge equine facilitated psychotherapy program for veterans takes place at the Presidio Riding Club (PRC) located at Fort Barry in the beautiful and serene Marin Headlands. The PRC has a rich military history detailed on their website: http://www.presidioridingclub.org
This program was born out of a mutual desire between Sally Broder, Psy.D. and the PRC to help veterans returning from active duty or past conflicts. The PRC is taking an active role in launching this program by offering its facility and the use of the members’ horses. Individual or group sessions will be free and held at least four times each year depending on the number of veteran referrals. Group days are encouraged as they can be extremely powerful. Hopefully, a robust referral response will allow this program to grow in breadth and depth.
Horses can be effective intermediaries when used in a psychotherapeutic setting. Horses are incapable of masking their feelings. They are authentic. They can sense when their handler is being inauthentic and will respond accordingly. Horses can be magically therapeutic with the specific issues with which veterans have to deal, especially post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The symptomatic picture of PTSD includes but is not limited to the following:
Difficulty relating with others
Difficulty sleeping/troubling dreams
Physical symptoms related to hyperarousal
There are, of course, many more signs and symptoms. Being with horses is an intimate experience without the threat of intimacy. People who have worked with horses in this way often overcome the fear of connection and other anxieties. Horses actually can have a calming effect. Research has shown that being with and relating to these graceful animals can cause a decrease in heart rate.
Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy is an effective treatment for issues regarding impulse and inattention as well. Every moment with a horse requires full attention and focus. Horses behave as living, breathing, biofeedback machines. They respond to the client in the moment. The body language of a client doing this type of work is reflected in the horse’s body language. Dr. Broder facilitates moment-to-moment awareness of body language both of the horse and the client in order for the client and the horse to create a mutual relationship. Often, a multitude of emotions and issues are revealed to be worked with through the help of Dr. Broder and the horse.
This Veterans Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy Program is seeking referrals of veterans as well as qualified, levelheaded and passionate volunteers to help with this program.