Equine Assisted Therapy
Equine Assisted Therapy
In order to explore the feasibility of support for this new area of therapy and ensure that it becomes a credible source of counselling, Oliver Edwards of Equinol approached reach to fund a pilot research project which undertook to collate evidence in this innovative area of therapy and test out whether such an intervention could be relevant, accessible and acceptable to referrers and clientele.
Equine Psychotherapy is still a very new concept, albeit one that is increasing in popularity. In order to explore the feasibility of support for this new area of therapy and ensure that it becomes a credible source of counselling, Oliver Edwards of Equinol approached reach to fund a pilot research project which undertook to collate evidence in this innovative area of therapy and test out whether such an intervention could be relevant, accessible and acceptable to referrers and clientele.
Oliver, a graduate from the Family Institute, University of Glamorgan had spent many years as a professional jockey before training to become a counsellor. The pilot project invited participants to experience equine assisted therapy, utilising a Brief Solution focussed model of therapy, implemented alongside the natural healing repertoire of the horse. “Working with horses can enable participants to overcome and develop levels of self awareness and confidence in their core relationships with others” says Oliver. Billy Hardy, a registered Psychotherapist and Registered Clinical Supervisor from the University of Glamorgan was Oliver’s clinical supervisor during the pilot project. The total cost of the pilot project was £6,986.88 with reach providing finance of £5,188.00 and £1,798.88 contributed in time by Oliver.
Outcome and Impact
“The reach grant was instrumental in setting up the pilot project,’ states Oliver. “It covered the cost of hiring facilities at Bridgend College Pencoed, ensuring the correct health and safety considerations were put in place and that the correct professional indemnity insurance was provided for me to practice safely,” adds Oliver.
The grant also covered the development of a website for Equinol, to ensure sustainability and the publishing of a report on the pilot project.
In total, eight people, four men and four women participated in the pilot project which lasted for ten weeks and offered 58 one hour sessions. Clients were referred from either Manpower or Working Links and on referral, described a range of problems which included anxiety, low self confidence and social anxiety.
At the end of the pilot project 80% of the participants reported a change in their well being and had a more positive description of themselves. Four of the eight reported increased self confidence and this was reflected in one person being able to secure full time employment, two moving to full time further or higher education and another taking up a volunteering post at the college.