In an effort to touch more lives and further expand the type of mental health therapy The Flatwater Foundation provides access to, we now fund family and individual Equine Assisted Counseling sessions. These sessions are intended to act as an alternative to “traditional” talk therapy and are open to any individual or family directly affected by a cancer diagnosis.
Equine Assisted Counseling (EAC), also called Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP), is a form of counseling that incorporates horses within a therapeutic environment supporting emotional growth and healing. Licensed therapists and equine professionals work together with clients and horses to address treatment goals. Sessions are guided by our model that is “hands on” (or experiential). In other words, clients learn about themselves naturally through horse-related activities and interactions, and then discuss any thoughts, feelings, or behavior patterns that arise.
EAC addresses the following areas:
- Healing from trauma
- Grief & loss
- The role of trust in forming new relationships
- Self-awareness and self-reflection
- Personal growth and life skill development
- Leadership and effective communication skills
- How to objectively reflect on patterns of behavior and understand how these behaviors impact other areas of your life
** “I am so grateful to The Flatwater Foundation for the amazing program they offer cancer patients and their families. When I received my second cancer diagnosis…I was referred to the program that offered Equine Therapy along with mental health services. It was there that we truly found help, both for myself and for my son. In the peaceful surroundings and in the presence of these magnificent animals, I was able to find peace to be able face my diagnosis and the treatment I was about to undergo and find ways to help my son deal with his feelings and emotions about it. For my son, being around the horses helped him to regulate his feelings and energy, and connect with them in a way that allowed him to express the difficulties he was having and the fears he had. Not only did we both find help individually, but also as a family. Working together with the horses, my son and I found a deeper connection during a time when we would be separated by both time and distance.
Lindsey and Elisa have created a safe place for us to come that has supported us through and after a difficult time in our lives.
If it weren’t for the generosity of The Flatwater Foundation, I don’t know where we would be. This has been by far the most effective therapy we have received. Thank you, Flatwater Foundation, for making a difference in our lives.” – Program Participant
**”My husband was first diagnosed with melanoma in December of 2011. After surgery to test his lymph nodes we found out that the cancer had not spread. Telling our two girls (ages 10 and 8 at that time) was not easy but we continued on with our lives.
In April of 2013, my husband found a a lump near his rib-cage. The cancer was back and had spread to his brain and lungs. The girls started seeing a therapist (Corrine) at Wonders & Worries that September.
I cannot begin to tell you how much this program has helped the girls and me. I did not know how to talk to them especially when I was going through my own hell. Corrine was able to help them understand their feelings and how to express them to me and to their father as well as learn more about the disease.
After my husband passed away in February of 2014, they began seeing Lindsey and Elisa and the wonderful horses at The Flawater Foundation’s Equine Therapy Program. The girls are now able to communicate through the horses and help them express themselves. Coming to the ranch versus an office makes the therapy session much more enjoyable. We are able to talk more about him and share our sadness. I don’t know what I/we would have done without The Flatwater Foundation. As the surviving spouse and now single parent, I have everything on my plate not to mention my own grief. My worry for the girls has been lifted knowing they are being guided through their grief by a group of amazing people who are taking them through this journey in a way I could not begin to.” – Program Participant