Recently, I posted a link to participate in an Idaho State University research survey aimed at gathering data that will help differentiate between the various models or approaches to equine-assisted mental health and equine-assisted learning.

This data, once collected, analyzed, and published, will help both practitioners and researchers design studies using more clearly defined and operationalized terminology, and have the empirical evidence to develop specific and standardized protocols for each type of intervention.

At present, there is little if any empirical evidence related to the manner in which the various models or approaches to equine-assisted mental health or equine-assisted learning are actually implemented. Most knowledge of this topic is based upon anecdotal experiences and the trainings provided by various organizations or individuals. Due to this, it is impossible to make generalizations as so much of what is “known” is based upon personal opinions, experiences, and unique ways of practicing. This research project marks the beginning of a very important area of study for the industry of equine-assisted activities and therapies.

Our survey asks professionals to choose the model or approach they use when providing either equine-assisted mental health or equine-assisted learning. The participant then answers all the research questions based upon the philosophy, beliefs, and practices of this model or approach. After 15 days of the survey being live, here is some initial data about the prevalence of the use of various models or approach we’ve collected.

  • 35.48% of respondents use an “integrative” approach to either equine-assisted mental health or equine-assisted learning and do not claim any specific model.
  • 25.81% of respondents use the Equine Psychotherapy Institute model of equine-assisted psychotherapy (WAY TO GO MEG KIRBY AND CREW!)
  • 9.68% of respondents use the EAGALA model of equine-assisted psychotherapy or equine-assisted learning
  •  9.68% of respondents identify “other” as their approach to equine-assisted mental health or learning (this includes models not included in this list)
  • 6.45% of respondents use the PATH Intl. Diamond model of equine-facilitated psychotherapy or equine-facilitated learning
  • 6.45% of respondents use the Eponaquest model of equine-facilitated psychotherapy or equine-facilitated learning
  • 3.23% of respondents use the Gestalt Institute of the Rockies model of Gestalt equine psychotherapy
  • 3.23% of respondents use the HEAL model of equine-facilitated psychotherapy or equine-facilitated learning
  • 0% of respondents report using the Adventures in Awareness model of equine-facilitated psychotherapy or equine-facilitated learning, the HERD model of equine-facilitated psychotherapy, or equine-facilitated learning or the Natural Lifemanship model of trauma-informed equine-assisted psychotherapy.

This data tells me our survey isn’t reaching all possible user groups. I am sure there are far more people using some of these (and other) models than this data suggests, and I need YOUR HELP getting the word out there to these various groups and practitioners. Please take this survey yourself if you offer any type of equine-assisted mental health or equine-assisted learning, and forward it to anyone else you know. Lets get some serious data collection going!

https://survey.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6lh1eprlszECJLf

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE!

7 thoughts on “Help Advance Our Knowledge of Equine-Assisted Mental Health and Equine-Assisted Learning

  1. I’ll be happy to do the survey. And I appreciate your time and effort in this as well as into your writing. I’m not a researcher, but other than providing a survey of use what does your effort do to support evidence based practice any more than research on each of the approaches you list? (“little if any empirical evidence related to the manner in which the various models or approaches to equine-assisted mental health or equine-assisted learning are actually implemented”).

    I’ve been an LCSW for 20 years and I’ve had over 20 years of exposure to EAP and training, 18 years back with EAGALA then more training last year in EAGALA and finally the past 7 months of daily EAP work. My concern (bias) is that the approaches noted are well intentioned and probably all supportive of client change. I also our “field” is in a position of folks having strong preferences for what they think works best. At this point it seems to me there is a struggle to “market” my program over yours and so on. Nothing unusual about this in the psychotherapy field. As I’m sure you’re aware the vast majority of Licensed clinicians in non EAP work use a mix of approaches with clients unless somehow mandated to use a “manualized” approach that has very stringent methodology.

    As a consumer I could benefit from some type of “objective” overview of training models to help me choose where to spend my limited funds and time. For me that would be the best outcome of a survey like this. Thanks again for your work and for participants in the survey.

    Like

    1. OK I’m embarrassed. The facebook posting on EAGALA took me to survey link with small preamble. At bottom of the page is the “new research survey” tab taking to a full page with more complete explanation. Apologies. Maybe others will be confused and miss the good info as I initially did or maybe they’ll check all links first. Apologies.

      Like

    2. Hello Russell,
      Please consider purchasing my newest book, The Clinical Practice of Equine-Assisted Therapy. It is available through the publisher (Routledge) as well as on Amazon and other booksellers. I believe it will help answer a number of your questions and address some of the great comments you shared here. Thank you so much! Leif

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s