Equine-assisted therapy (EAP) also referred to as equine therapy, falls under a category known as Animal-Assisted Therapy. Psychology Today explains that animal-assisted therapy “incorporates animals…into the treatment plans [and] is used to enhance and complement the benefits of traditional therapy.” EAP is an alternative form of psychotherapy that enables individuals to work daily with horses. By interacting and working with a horse, an individual is provided with the opportunity to work through some of the psychological and emotional issues that he or she may not otherwise be able to tackle in a traditional therapy setting.
Equine therapy works by helping individuals achieve emotional growth by using horses in an experiential fashion. Horses provide immediate feedback to interactions. Due to the fact that horses have the ability to sense one’s feelings and respond accordingly, they can act as a mirror for an individual during sessions and often illuminate harbored feelings of which he or she may be unaware. The learning opportunities from the relationship with a horse are vast. Based on the horse’s feedback, an individual can modify his or her interactions to accommodate for healthier communication.
Though EAP was originally used to primarily help individuals recover from traumatic injuries, it is currently recognized as an effective treatment method that is used to treat a wide variety of mental health ailments. Equine therapy has become a worldwide practice. Equine therapy has the propensity to vastly help one’s recovery and provides a unique experience during one’s healing process. In order to achieve optimal results and guaranteed safety, it is essential for EAP to be facilitated under the supervision of a trained and licensed equine therapist.
Kaiser Permanente is the largest not-for-profit managed care organization in America and was founded in 1945. It is made up of three organizations: Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, and Permanente Medical Groups. It offers high-quality and affordable healthcare through individual and family medical insurance plans. Kaiser provides medical insurance to approximately 12.4 million members in America. As of 2021, Kaiser Permanente plans became available for purchase through the Marketplace several states including California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Washington, Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., and Oregon. The specific substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment coverage may vary between Kaiser Permanente plans, but all include some level of coverage for in-network providers (such as Friendly House) delivering outpatient, intensive outpatient, and inpatient services. Prior to the rendering of any type of therapy services, it is best to verify with the provider that they are in-network and accept your plan. It can also be helpful to reach out to a representative at Kaiser Permanente to discuss any potential out-of-pocket expenses.
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