A client who came along for some equine-facilitated sessions this month (August 2015) has written this account of her experiences and kindly gave me permission to share it on my website.
So here is a narrative from someone who found the experience profound and helpful, in their own words.
“As someone who has experienced a lot of therapy before – both personally and within my professional life, I have grown very used to the world of words and using words to help me process what is going on for me in my life. Re-framing and processing my past through story has been part of my journey for a while and it is central to my life. Sometimes though, the words spin and get very fast, I can forget to breathe and just notice how I am and how my body and mind connect to each other. I can forget to feel my feet on the ground. Everything just gets too busy and exhausting.”
After participating in various reflective and experiential exercises with the horses, where non-verbal process is everything, this is her summary of what happened:
“So what is my appraisal of equine therapy, having experienced it? I do believe my adult self to be a very rational and solid person. I like facts. I like what I can touch. I like to take responsibility for myself and not pass this over to others, deity, animal or otherwise. I still love my words and the telling of my story. However, it is clear to me that the process of being supported by Sarah to look at aspects of myself/my story, with the gentle, graceful and deeply nurturing souls of such wonderful equine companions has been something that I am unlikely to forget. I do believe that my thoughts are my thoughts, my feelings my own. But in the eyes of these magnificent creatures, I could feel empathy and gentleness in a place without any dialogue. In what happened, it makes sense to me that they may have felt some of my process, my emotions and my needs and responded to me in that.”
My own thoughts are that the horses tune into what the client needs, so that they can dwell with that client in particular moments of clarity to give the client the insight needed. What a special gift to take away.