Integrating healthy spirits, minds, and bodies, for both humans and horses...

Cheryl and Rachel Pozzi
2 Marietta Court, Suite A
Edgewood, NM 87015
E-Mail: wsrpark@msn.com
Phone: 505-385-6360

Therapy

Therapy
Where Horses Touch Lives

EEA/T | Therapeutic Riding | Equine Assisted Psychotherapy | Where Horses Touch Lives
The Whispering Spirit Difference | About Cheryl Pozzi | Fees & General Guidelines | Our Therapy Horses

All our sessions at Whispering Spirit Ranch offer individual change and growth in many areas of a person's life, regardless of the age or challenges.

Here, the common denominator is fostering and nutruting that change and growth through the marvelous ability of a horse to touch a participant's life in a powerful, profound, and meaningful way.

  • Confidence
    The learning and mastery of a new (horsemanship) skill enhances patients' confidence in their ability to tackle new projects, such as recovery, and leads to improved self-esteem.
  • Self-Efficacy
    Learning to communicate and achieve harmony with a large animal promotes renewed feelings of efficacy. A motivated "I can do it!" replaces feelings of helplessness, de-motivation, by empowering the person to take on new challenges in other areas of recovery.
  • Self-Awareness
    Riding helps participants to develop a more realistic view of themselves through awareness of their size in relation to the horse. This is especially important in treating patients with eating disorders as well as those with interpersonal aggression problems.
  • Communication
    Horses' sensitivity to non-verbal communication assists patients in developing greater awareness of their emotions, the non-verbal cues that they may be communicating, and the important role of non-verbal communication in relationships.
  • Trust
    Learning to trust an animal such as a horse also aides in the development, or restoration, of trust for those whose ability to trust has been violated by difficult life experiences such as physical or sexual abuse, abandonment, neglect, or marital infidelity.
  • Perspective
    Through grooming activities and other types of care for a specific horse, patients are able to put aside the absorbing focus of their mental illness, such as depressive ruminations, and instead to direct their attention and interests outwardly toward safe and caring interactions.
  • Anxiety Reduction
    Many studies of human-animal interaction indicate that contact with animals significantly reduces physiological anxiety levels. Some patients are initially afraid of horses. But horses' genuineness and affection allay these fears, helping patients to embrace exposure therapy for their anxiety issues.
  • Decreasing Isolation
    For many individuals with mental illness, there is a long-term or recent history of feeling rejected by, and different from, other people. Mental illnesses are intrinsically isolating experiences. The horse's unconditional acceptance invites patients back into the fellowship of life.
  • Self-Acceptance
    Many patients are initially concerned that they will do something embarrassing while learning about or riding the horses. Yet patients quickly learn that the other participants are engaged in their own equine experiences, and they observe the comfort of the horses in their own skin. Fears of embarrassment in public are thereby often reduced and self-acceptance increased.
  • Impulse Modulation
    Particularly for those whose mental illness involves the experience of lost control over impulses, the need to communicate with a horse calmly and non-reactively promotes the skills of emotional awareness, emotion regulation, self-control, and impulse modulation. Research clearly indicates that animal-assisted therapy reduces patient agitation and aggressiveness and increases cooperativeness and behavioral control.
  • Social Skills
    Many individuals with mental illness are socially isolated or withdrawn. A positive relationship with a horse is often a first, safe step toward practicing the social skills needed to initiate closer relationships with people.
  • Assertiveness
    Communicating effectively with a horse requires the rider to demonstrate assertiveness, direction, and initiative; important skills that enable the patient to express their needs and rights more effectively in other relationships.
  • Boundaries
    Many patients have experienced prior relationships as controlling or abusive. Healing takes place as patients discover that riding occurs within the context of a respectful relationship between a rider and a horse, and that, although physically powerful, each horse typically operates within the boundaries of this mutually respectful relationship.
  • Creative Freedom
    Many persons with mental illness have been emotionally inhibited or over-controlled, and have lost some measure of spontaneity. The playful aspects of riding and team equine activities can help restore spontaneity and ability for healthy recreation and play.

Next: The Whispering Spirit Difference

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Contact Us

If you are interested in obtaining more information about our therapy services, please contact us via the e-mail or telephone number provided. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

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