Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy and Adolescents

Adolescent depression is a complicated diagnosis affecting an increasing number of adolescents in the United States. Mental health professionals utilize a range of techniques to treat adolescent depression; however, due to the large array of symptoms and the often difficult nature of these clients, professionals are always looking for more options for treatment. Equine-assisted psychotherapy is a technique where clients partner with horses through a variety of activities meant to address their depressive symptoms and build their social and relational skills. This type of psychotherapy combines the most effective parts of existing therapies, works within a limited number of sessions and can be used in conjunction with other interventions. Equine-assisted psychotherapy creates a unique environment that fosters change and growth for adolescents experiencing depression. Although working with horses in therapy is a relatively new idea in the United States, initial research supports its effectiveness with the adolescent population.

Jenny Gustavson-Dufour
Year Completed: 
Number of Pages: 
PDF icon Gustavson-Dufour MP 2011.pdf582.18 KB