Horse Assisted Psychotherapy helps clients cope with change and develop positive means of facing life’s struggles through the use of activities and experiences with horses.
- Patti Mandrell, author of Introduction to Horse Assisted Therapy Assisted Psychotherapy
Practiced throughout the world, Horse Assisted Therapy has increased in popularity over the years, becoming a recognized and respected addition to conventional therapeutic methods.
Gentle, compassionate and intuitive, horses connect with the very heart and soul of a person. They respond and react honestly and without judgement, offering unconditional love and acceptance. Partnering with horses in therapy provides clients with limitless opportunities to expand their awareness, restore trust, establish, respect and recognize boundaries, exercise emotional control and responsibility, and learn healthy communication strategies.
Horse Assisted Therapy is ideal for youth, adults, families desiring to heal, restore and thrive. It has been used, with much success, in the treatment of:
and many other mental health related issues.
It is particularly effective in identifying challenges associated with strong emotions (anger, fear and grief, for example) as well as with traumatic life events.
Nestled in the gentle rolling hills of central Alberta—away from the hassles and stresses of modern life—lie 160 acres of a little piece of heaven here on earth. Approximately fifty minutes northwest of Edmonton, Spirit Horse Ranch offers a refreshing change from conventional counselling, allowing its visitors a peaceful, nurturing and relaxing setting in which to connect—with nature, with themselves and, yes, with our horses.
STAN T. MLYNCZAK*
M.S., R. Psych. // M.Sc.(Psychiatry) // M.D.(Medicine)
Dr. Stan, founder and director of Spirit Horse Ranch, graduated from Poznan University Medical Sciences in 1971 and worked as a physician for a number of years before immigrating to Canada where he obtained clinical fellowships in cancer research, psychiatry, and respiratory and sleep disorders. In 1998, at the University of Alaska, he completed his Master’s in Clinical Psychology and has remained in the field of mental health care ever since, serving primarily the First Nations population in both the USA and Canada.
A longstanding horseman, Dr. Stan began formal training in Horse Assisted Therapy Assisted Psychotherapy in 2005 and, in an effort to provide his clients with different therapeutic options, incorporated its principles into his current practice.
*Member of the College of Alberta Psychologist, Alberta Psychologists Association, Canadian Hypnotherapy Association, Native Mental Health Association of Canada, CanTRA (Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association), and EAGALA (Horse Assisted Therapy Assisted Growth and Learning Association)