A therapy for handicapped persons that combines a multidisciplinary medical team, specifically trained horses and a specific environment adapted to the needs of patients and therapists.
This non-medicinal therapeutic approach is complementary to conventional medical technics. The main goal is to improve the person’s autonomy. There is a corollary impact, which is the use of less medication. This process is innovative in several ways: - Instead of focusing on the deficiency, the process concentrates on the person’s strength which promotes his/her empowerment and growth, - Every dimension of the person is taken in consideration: be it physical, mental, social … That is why the program is conducted by a multidisciplinary team that includes a psychologist, a physical therapist, a doctor specialised in functional re-education and will add in future other medical skills such as: speech therapist, psycho therapist etc. - The team’s constant interaction creates a really powerful and cohesive process, - Through interaction with volunteers the recipients are able to recreates social bounds (that is specially powerful for those who have endured traumatising experiences (physical or psychological), - In a reciprocal way volunteers, whom are mainly young teenagers, get the chance to socialise with disabled persons whom they seldom meet in their daily life. The horse creates a bond between those 2 different worlds. The use of horses as therapeutic mediation is well known and largely used; However, the initiative goes way beyond, as it creates synergy between the medical world and horse world through a very strict protocol. This is exemplified by the request made by PATH Intl (the largest not for profit organisation in the world on equine therapy) to the creator, to submit an abstract for the next annual congress. PATH Intl board members consider that Equiphoria’s method sets an example that needs to be duplicated.