Brain plasticity, also known as neural plasticity, is a term that refers to the brain's ability to change and adapt as a result of experience. Both Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Art Psychotherapy are experiential forms of therapy that can help develop new neural pathways to facilitate behavioural and cognitive change.
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
Art is used as a symbolic language to access thoughts and feelings that can often be hard for children and adolescents to express in words. Art therapy offers a safe and non-threatening way to make sense of difficult experiences and resolve any inner conflicts. It increases self-awareness and helps children and adolescents to reduce worries and stress, develop better interpersonal skills, manage behaviour and increase self-esteem. The act of creative expression is in itself therapeutic.
Art therapy has been shown to generally improve mental and emotional well-being and to increase self-acceptance and undertanding of self.
Advantages of Art Psychotherapy
Horses facilitate 'engagement' in children and adolescents. Horses evoke feelings! Non-verbal feedback from horses can be powerful and can effect change, particularly in clients who are not able to verbalise (or reflect upon) their feelings. Due to horses heightened sensitivity and natural instincts they respond to a person's mood and behaviour. Horse feedback can encourage self-awareness and congruency of body, feelings, thoughts and beliefs.
Horses live in the ʻhere and nowʼ and offer authentic and honest contact, free of judgement and interpretation.
Advantages of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
Is a unique approach to psychotherapy where clients are offered safe experiences with horses for the purpose of exploring new ways of connecting in relationships and building self-awareness and trust.
Art psychotherapy uses visual art-making (for example: collage, sculpture, masks and painting) within a therapeutic relationship to explore and make sense of thoughts, feelings and behaviours.