All Kinds of News for June 06, 2018
Solstice East exposes students to equine-assisted therapy as a way to help them improve their own sense of self-awareness, give them a concrete example of responsibility, and show them the importance of being caring and nurturing towards others. The skills they learn by interacting with horses can be applied to their relationships with people. Licensed equine instructors are present on site to help guide students in improving their own self-regulation and developing a meaningful bond with the horse. Using the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) model, students “learn by doing”, to analyze and problem solve different situations for powerful and meaningful results.
The relationships with the horses begin with communication. In order to effectively bond with a horse, individuals must be sensitive and nurturing. The horse's reaction will reflect the human’s communication, either positive or negative. This interaction lends itself to be a great learning experience for students. Horses can be great teachers in helping bring to life the importance of practicing self-control of emotions. Because the goal at Solstice East is to provide students with experiences and skills that are transferable to the real world and their day-to-day life, equine-assisted therapy is a great example of a therapeutic measure that teaches transferable skills. For trauma specifically, Solstice East uses the Trauma Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (TFEAP) model that helps students re-engage for healthier processing and communication following trauma.
“Pressure and release” is another important method that the equine instructors teach both the students and families. During the first parent seminar, about 4-6 weeks into a student’s enrollment, parents visit campus and are trained on this method to help with their own communication skills. This form of nonverbal communication teaches students and families how to effectively regulate their own emotions and relationships. Through practice, they develop a greater understanding on how to apply and react to pressures from family and peers. This concept also emphasizes the importance of healthy communication.
“I love how work with the horses so easily shows ourselves in a non-judgmental way and gives us a beautiful opportunity to make healthy changes,” comments Georgia DeFrancia, Equine Director at Solstice East. “I also love the flexibility and creativity we have in ways of doing therapy and helping our families and their teens. We have the ability to find what works rather than just relying on one style!”
About Solstice East
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for adolescents ages 14-18 located just outside of Asheville, NC. Solstice East has helped hundreds of students and their families with issues ranging from depression and anxiety to trauma and behavioral problems. Solstice East is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), and academically accredited by AdvancED and the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Additionally, Solstice East is licensed by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.