EQUINE ASSISTED GROWTH AND LEARNING ASSOCIATION
Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association
EAGALA was founded in 1999 as a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization developed to address the need for resources,education and professionalism in the fields of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning. The association sets the standard for professional excellence in how horses and humans work together to improve the quality of life and mental health of individuals, families and groups worldwide. EAGALA now has more than 4,000 members in 49 countries and continues to grow.
EAGALA Certified members commit to standards of practice and ethics, which include a minimum requirement of experience and education for the facilitating team. The Equine Specialist must have at least 6,000 hours hands-on work with horses, along with over 100 hours of continuing education. The Mental Health Professional must follow regional laws for mental health practice, have education in the mental health scope, and be licensed, registered or certified (depending on country) by a governing body.
THE EAGALA MODEL
What are Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL)?
Not all therapy using horses involves riding. Unlike therapeutic riding, EAGALA teaches Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) which instead focus on experiential, ground-based activities. The EAGALA treatment team (a Mental Health Professional and Equine Specialist) works with the client in creative horse-centered activities designed to address specific treatment goals, producing spectacular results. Often during a session, the horse or experience can initiate an “Aha” moment that impacts that client’s way of thinking or behaving. After the session, the client takes away key experiences and can begin to make lifelong changes.
The EAGALA Model is unique because it utilizes a team approach and focuses on ground-based activities. In addition, EAGALA’s approach is solution-oriented and adheres to a professional code of ethics. The EAGALA Model is a powerful and effective therapeutic approach that has an incredible impact on individuals, youth, families and groups. EAP addresses a variety of mental health and human development needs including behavioral issues, attention deficit disorder, substance abuse, eating disorders, abuse, trauma, depression, anxiety, relationship problems and communication challenges.
2011 EAGALA Equine Assisted Growth & Learning Association
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
Addresses the client or group’s treatment goals
Focuses on setting up ground activities involving the horses which will require the client or group to apply certain skills, as defined by their treatment plan or goals
Examples of skills applied in an EAP session:
Improved behaviors and social skills
Depression and anxiety reduction
Equine Assisted Learning
Addresses the individual or group’s learning or educational goals
Focuses on setting up ground activities involving horses to help learn specific skills or achieve educational goals, as defined by that individual or group
Examples of skills applied in an EAL session:
Improved product sales for a company
Leadership skills for a school group
Resiliency training for the military