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Equine assisted therapy in Scotland

One of the basic truths about people is that different people like different things and respond to different approaches, and it is for this reason that it is so important that treatment facilities that deal with addictions have a variety of different methods on hand to help people achieve their goals.  For some people this may involve finding the right mix of medications to help them deal with their cravings or detox symptoms, while for others it may include access to therapy programmes to allow them to deal with the underlying issues around their addiction.

Often the two methods mentioned above (medication and therapy) are the most commonly used approaches, but in many rehab programmes, new methods are being introduced to help reach people in different ways and allow people a better chance at successfully completing their programme and maintaining their recovery in the future.

One method that has been introduced by Castle Craig rehab in Scotland, is equine assisted therapy (EAP), where clients work with horses as a form of therapy (Castle Craig, 2012).  The theory behind the treatment is that it teaches people to control their reactions, as they come to learn that the horses do not respond to frustration and anger, thus encouraging them to think about how they communicate as well as promoting problem solving.  Reports so far suggest it has a positive impact for many people, helping them both learn things about their own actions as well as learning skills to help them deal with other people and difficult situations.

It may of course not be suitable for everyone, especially those who may have an extreme fear of horses; but for those who are open to the idea it may have positive outcomes, and whether it has the intended effect or not, many people find spending time with animals very comforting and therapeutic in itself, thus it may be helpful on many different levels and for many different people.



Castle Craig.  (2012).  Whispering to horse can help drug addicts.  Sourced from:


Published by on 15/01/2013.

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