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!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE!