Frequently asked questions
Who does Horses & Heroes treat?
We work with veterans and active military (any status - combat and non-combat), first responders (active or retired), and their families. We offer confidential counseling sessions. Eligible participants can attend up to 12 session at no cost. After those 12 sessions, there are additional options to continue services, which can be discussed with your treatment team.
What if someone else in my family wants counseling?
It can be very beneficial to include loved ones and members of your family in your therapy. Your sessions can be tailored to be individual, couples, or family. For families and couples, equine-assisted counseling is very helpful in improving communication, learning to work together effectively, and increasing connection.
If you have a spouse/partner, or child/children that want services of their own, we offer a reduced rate of $75 per session. Those fees go back into the program to continue supporting our services.
What concerns do you treat?
We effectively treat anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, communication problems, behavioral issues, anger, grief, life transitions, and traumatic and chronic stress.
What if the problems I want couseling for aren't work, service, or combat related?
We will help you regardless of whether you think your concerns are related to your work or service. It’s not always clear to people where their current distress is rooted, but we are here to help you uncover that and heal. Feel free to contact us and ask questions to determine if we are a good fit for your current concerns and goals.
How can I trust you'll be able to understand my problems and provide beneficial help to me or my family?
We require our counselors and equine specialists to have knowledge and understanding of military and first responder cultures. Our counselors are also trained in variety of mental health theories and interventions and have in-depth knowledge of traumatic and chronic stress. Our program is trauma-informed meaning the teams you work with understand trauma, its origins, symptoms, and how to prevent retraumatizing clients.
What can I expect from counseling sessions with H&H?
- Your initial session will last about 90 min including meeting with your team to discuss treatment goals before going out to the horses.
- They are held outdoors in a beautiful, calming setting surrounded by nature and fresh air. You will need to wear clothing and shoes (closed toe)acceptable for outdoor setting.
- They are co-facilitated by a licensed mental health professional and an EAGALA (Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning Association) certified equine specialist. Your team also includes our horses.
- You will be interacting with the horses in a variety of ways (ground-based, no riding involved) to assist your treatment goals and learn about yourself, others, and how to heal and grow.
We allow our team of horses to simply be themselves and this is what makes them wonderful co-therapists. We are often asked if we have trained them to do or respond in certain ways, but we don’t. What you get from a horse is their natural and authentic response to you. Horses are very in tune with their environment, always aware of threat and safety so they also pick up on what is going on in us. It is like a mirror reflecting how real or disguised a person is, how congruent or incongruent.
They assist our therapy in many ways, but a few common ones include:
- Helping clients to regulate emotions and energy by calming and grounding
- Teaching clients to communicate clearly and effectively
- In the face of a large and powerful animal they teach clients how to build trust and feel more confident and empowered.
- A horse’s ability to give honest and direct feedback helps to increase insight and self-awareness.
Also, by combining all the elements of nature, equine-assisted work, and psychotherapy you will have an experience that engages your entire body and brain which is a highly effective way to process difficult experiences and learn new ways of being.
What are the outcomes of group/corporate sessions?
Corporate, clinical, and educational groups have found our services to be very beneficial in helping improve their work relationships by learning and practicing clear and healthy communication styles, increasing listening skills, building team cohesion, and creating connection. Clinical groups have also found that bringing patients to engage in EAP has increased insights into themselves, supported coping and grounding skills by real time practice, helped in emotion regulation and deeper expression and processing of concerns that they are working on in treatment.
Overall, we receive feedback that their patients, students, employees, etc. time in the arena supports and deepens the work they are already doing, making goals easier to achieve.