Understanding the impact of trauma on the brain is the first principle of trauma-informed approaches, because it gives us a new lens through which to interpret and respond to the socio-behavioral and cognitive challenges characteristic of individuals who suffer the effects of long-term exposure to trauma. Trauma-informed approaches, by definition, are distinct from trauma-specific treatments in that they are not designed to treat the effects of trauma. Rather, trauma-informed approaches aim to help individuals and systems incorporate knowledge and principles to promote an environment that is responsive to the needs of those affected by trauma. Most of all, they seek to prevent re-traumatization and to promote recovery and resilience through trauma-informed service delivery. 

Observation-  Observing the horse physical behavior and behavior toward one another we can start asking the clients their interpretation of the horse's behavior. The client might say "he's angry."  "What do you see in the horse's body language that might say he's angry?"  "See if you notice what the horse is doing with his body each time you feel or think he might be angry."  The client can now be an attentive observer, first the horse, then ultimately themselves.
Interpretation-  Interpretation can reveal a great deal about the internal state of the client, but the impulse to interpret, regardless of evidence, makes a great teachable moment.  This allows the client to disengage from the emotional charge with the horse first and then in their own lives.



We will need you to wear closed toed shoes and long pants. 

We will provide a helmet


Self-awareness -  Being aware of and naming one's own emotions, thoughts, impulses, and physical sensations.  Being able to understand our own emotions and recognize their impact on us the capability to pause and ask "what's motivating us at the moment.  For many of us reacting without thinking (impulse control) is a prominent pattern.  With EFP we help the client examine the available choices between

stimulus and response.  We help clients expand the time between stimulus and response, to make a more informed choice.



Patterns -  EFP brings these habitual, repeated patterns into focus through the client's interaction with the horse.  We encourage clients to take time to listen, notice and identify these patterns.  How these patterns may show up else where in their life.


read and sign release form

WARNING

Under North Carolina law, an equine activity sponsor or equine professional is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant in equine activities resulting exclusively from the inherent risks of equine activities. Chapter 99E of the North Carolina General Statutes

When people live in a state of fear and uncertainty, they naturally become hyper vigilant. Hyper vigilance is an important, life-saving trait associated with highly reactive lower regions of the brain and it ensures quick and effective responses to threat. Anybody in the midst of conflict and violence must become hyper vigilant as his or her survival truly depends on it. In a healthy functioning individual, hyper vigilance will arise when necessary, but the individual will return to a state of calm when the threat is no longer present. It is well known that chronic traumatic stress, such as that experienced by soldiers living in combat zones and refugees, often leaves its mark on otherwise healthy adults in what we commonly call PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Footnotes:
This section co-written by Kim Mills, MA, NCC, LPC from KMK Counseling.
Information from Natural Lifemanship website.

No horseback riding or horse knowledge is required.  Most of our work is done on the ground.