What is Equine Therapy? | Banyan Treatment Center

What is Equine Therapy?

equine therapy for addiction

There are a variety of approaches to alcohol and drug treatment, and equine therapy is an increasingly popular method included in treatment plans.

At Banyan Treatment Centers, we offer a variety of approaches to drug and alcohol treatment, including equine therapy. This type of therapy can greatly improve treatment outcome with effective ancillary support to traditional therapies offered at addiction treatment centers. This animal-assisted approach to treatment can help improve long-term sobriety by allowing for emotional healing, personal growth, and more.

What is Equine Therapy?

Equine therapy, also known as equine-assisted therapy or animal-assisted therapy, is a treatment approach we offer in our family of facilities. This program augments traditional treatment with additional support, allowing patients to interact with horses in a caring atmosphere. Patients care for horses and interact with the horses. Patient responsibilities can include cleaning stables or helping with upkeep of the animals.

What Are the Benefits of Equine-Assisted Therapy?

Equine-assisted therapy can help patients in numerous ways. First, the routine and responsibilities of equine therapy programs help patients develop crucial life skills to meet responsibilities both in the therapy setting and in the real world, following treatment. Equine therapy also helps patients better focus on the present moment, rather than fixating on their troubles. Interaction with horses also helps patients relax, develop greater self-identity, and focus on growth.[1]

Equine therapy and other forms of animal-assisted therapy can help patients improve their self-esteem and coping abilities, which are crucial components of sustained long-term sobriety.[2] Horses can pick up on nonverbal cues, which encourages patients to develop greater interpersonal skills to earn the trust of these animals. Though horses can perceive emotional cues, they are non-judgmental, allowing patients to grow and heal without fear of being judged.

Equine-assisted therapy is one of our many approaches to effective addiction and alcoholism treatment. To learn more about equine therapy and our additional programs for recovery, call 888-280-4763.


  1. NCBI - More Than Just a Break from Treatment: How Substance Use Disorder Patients Experience the Stable Environment in Horse-Assisted Therapy
  2. NCBI - Animal-assisted therapy with farm animals for persons with psychiatric disorders: effects on self-efficacy, coping ability and quality of life, a randomized controlled trial
Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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