Equine Assisted Therapy

Horse-Guided Empowerment Program for Recovery

“When should we open up as individuals in order to finally accept the gift of life. . .
authenticity and closeness, if not when together with the horse, that ancient symbol of human inner elevation and growth?”
~Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling

Thompson Therapy:

Residents at the Lilly Pad of Saint Augustine are given the opportunity to participate in equine assisted therapy, receiving treatment from Dr Ashley Thompson with Thompson Therapy. Dr. Ashley Thompson received her PhD in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute of Carpinteria, CA. Unlike traditional Western psychology, Depth Psychology does not seek to label problems or prescribe quick fix solutions, instead it approaches mental health issues with compassion, love, empathy, and aims to create consciousness around what troubles us. Dr. Thompson’s research and studies on the horse-human relationship have afforded her special insight into the psychological elements involved in equine therapies. In addition to her in-depth studies and education, Dr. Thompson’s experience working on horse ranches gave her the advantage of complete immersion into the understanding of horses.

Combining her knowledge of Depth Psychology and Trans-species Psychology, Dr. Thompson has developed a unique therapeutic model that offers a refreshing and real approach to modern day issues. Her therapeutic technique is personable, honest, and organic. Working from a Jungian perspective of mental health, the entirety of the individual is taken into consideration and worked with in-depth.

Dr. Thompson has carefully crafted an equine therapy program for people in recovery in which clients have the opportunity to engage in the deeply healing relationship between horse and human. With no barn or stalls on the 200 plus acre property, the free roaming herd of horses allows for a more natural interaction and the opportunity for expansion between human and nature. In this open-range setting, the horses are allowed to express themselves and exercise their natural autonomy in their interactions with each other and with people.

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The Equine Therapy Program

Equine therapy has proven highly beneficial in the treatment of so many ailments. Often times whatever it is that is disrupting the expression of our most authentic selves, at some point becomes systemic and effects every layer of our being from the spiritual, emotional, mental, and even physical. In the attempt to reclaim our most natural selves we must step back into nature and find ourselves reflected in her gaze. The healing potential between human and horse is realized in every moment of interaction and horses offer us a mirror if we are brave enough to look.

Throughout the program clients will be given the opportunity to work through issues of trust, fear, self-confidence, emotional responsibility, relationship skills, energy blockages, and self-awareness. Because horses are prey animals they are highly sensitive to their surrounding environment at the subtlest energetic levels. This is why they are so profoundly capable of reflecting for us our inner emotional state. Working with horses allows people to become conscious of where they are at and from this awareness one can decide how they might better adjust their state of being in order to achieve closeness and cooperation with a horse.

For people that have willingly embarked upon the journey of recovery, a relationship with a horse can be such a profound experience that fosters greater consciousness. Beyond the scientific explanations as to why they are such amazing therapy partners, horses are simply spiritual healers by nature. In certain native cultures the shaman’s horse would carry him to the spirit world to retrieve the lost souls of his patients. Through modified natural horsemanship practices, to guided meditations with horses, clients can begin to explore their innermost workings alongside a non-judging companion, and retrieve their own lost soul.

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Interested In Learning More About Equine Therapy?

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