All Kinds of News for October 05, 2016
BlueFire Wilderness, a wilderness therapy program for teens ages 11-17, utilizes weekly equine therapy to enrich the therapeutic experience of clients.
Equine therapy is a very powerful modality of treatment because it increases awareness of negative behaviors within a relationship. Horses are social creatures, mirroring the emotions of those surrounding them.
BlueFire Wilderness uses the EAGALA model of equine assisted therapy. This model involves no riding or horsemanship. Instead, all exercises within the EAGALA model are carried out on the ground alongside the horses. At ground level, clients are able to better understand and perceive the horse’s reactions as they work through their individual struggles. In addition to the EAGALA model, students also take part in therapeutic horseback riding.
As Winston Churchill once said, “there’s something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of a human”. When humans are around horses, the human brain releases “feel good” hormones such as oxytocin and serotonin which instantly makes them feel calmer and happier.
“When disgruntled teenagers come into the proximity of a horse and start to bond with it through touch and other interactions, you can see an automatic change of mood through facial expressions and body language,” says Johnny Urrutia, Equine Specialist at BlueFire Wilderness. “Teens struggling with behavioral issues come into the program often feeling defensive and unwilling to open up to others. During equine therapy, in order to get a positive reaction from the horses, they must calm down and think about the way their actions and feelings are affecting the animals.”
This regulation of behaviors and emotions can translate into a teen’s social skills long after they have transitioned back into the “real world”.
BlueFire Wilderness has helped many teens by combining their comprehensive wilderness therapy program with other therapeutic techniques such as equine therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and individual therapy.
BlueFire Wilderness is a wilderness therapy program based just outside of Boise, Idaho that offers teens ages 11-17 a comprehensive adventure experience. BlueFire Wilderness combines clinical expertise, academic assessments and a family systems approach to help teens struggling emotional, behavioral and social challenges.