Equiphoria

Equiphoria
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.
Social Purpose: 
The initiative focuses on the way mentally, physically or socially challenged persons are being taken care off by the institutionalised health system. It allows the person to blossom and explore his/her potential, which will induce a reduction of the amount of prescription drugs. The innovative approach of less drug more trust in the human inner-power is a challenge as it revolutionaries the way of thinking of conventional organization that are mainstream. In France alone hundred of thousands of disabled persons are potentially able to progress, improve their autonomy, therefore their quality of life, and in the process free the time of their daily helpers (parents or health institutions’ staff) which will result in an overall cost reduction for the system. In short by improving autonomy its reduces cost for the society and improve the quality of life of the recipients and their helpers.
Social Impact: 
What is the social impact that the initiative produces: The main impact is a gain in autonomy of the disabled person, which implies a major outcome : freeing time for the people around that supports him/ her. How are these impacts assessed and with what frequency: The progress of the recipient is measured systematically trough different evaluations conducted at each session. We are presently seeking funding for a study that will measure Equiphoria’s global impact: on the patient’s quality of his/her daily life and his/her surrounding. This type of study has never been done before.
Innovative Character: 
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.
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