A leading treatment center in the United States for eating disorders in women and teenagers has added equine-assisted therapy to its treatment regime.
The Bellevue, Washington-based Center for Discovery says equine-assisted therapy is now part of a comprehensive, proprietary eating disorder treatment program to help women with eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder.
“Equine-assisted therapy is an incredible addition to our program and is a powerful way to inspire change in our residents,” said Dr Craig Brown, the center’s chief executive.
“Equine-assisted therapy, as part of our eating disorder treatment program, is an excellent instrument that helps promote healing, growth, and insight.”
The center, in a residential neighborhood in Bellevue, specializes in helping adult women with eating disorders as a primary diagnosis.
Equine-assisted therapy can help residents address issues in the areas of assertiveness, trust, emotional regulation, mindfulness, self-esteem, self-confidence, and body awareness.
By going beyond traditional therapy settings and interacting with a 1000+ pound animal, equine-assisted therapy aims to promote growth in ways that other therapies cannot, the center says.
Equine-assisted therapy in the center’s program for women includes working with horses in a group and individually.
Its staff work closely with the equine-assisted therapist to ensure each resident’s individual needs and goals are addressed in the sessions.
The center integrates the sessions into the specialized and personalized women’s eating disorder treatment program.
Along with equine therapy, the center uses a combination of individual and family-integrated treatment, as well as a nutrition program that uses exposure with response prevention and a kitchen skills education and training component that is like no other program.