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Title: The role of the horse in equine therapy
Authors: Seferiadou, Anthousa
Keywords: Equine therapy
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the meaning equine therapists ascribe to the role of the horse in various models of Equine Therapy (ET). The study was written from the viewpoint of equine mental health professionals’ understanding and interpretation of their experiences, exploring their feelings, beliefs and expectations regarding the horses’ involvement in and contribution to a therapeutic session. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews of nine equine (psycho)therapists, overt participant observations of equine therapeutic sessions and photographic/video taped sources. The interviews had been taped and transcribed verbatim and subsequently analyzed through the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Four superordinate, interrelated themes emerged from the data analysis, concerning the horse’s role in a therapeutic session and these were: challenging and confronting; promoting authenticity and congruence; strengthening the therapeutic relationship; and modelling healthy relationships. Overall, participants’ accounts indicate that the horse’s role is important for both therapists and clients and contributes to the achievement of therapy goals, if properly incorporated into the treatment plan, in a variety of different equine therapy models.
Appears in Collections:Program in Applied Psychology

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