Claire Dorotik's Blog (23)

Equine Therapy: An Interview With an Equine-Assisted Expert Pam Salem

While there are a number of ways to describe equine therapy to those not familiar with horses, sometimes there is nothing better than a personal interview. For this blog, I interviewed Pam Salem, an equine expert and co-facilitator of the equine therapy experiential program at English Mountain Recovery. Pam is also the founder of Equine Assisted Assets, which is dedicated to the growth and advancement…


Added by claire Dorotik on June 11, 2012 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Equine Therapy: Can It Help Me Lose Weight?

With today’s current obsession with weight loss, people have been known to try quite an amazing array of different ways to thin down. From sweatsuits in summertime to juice diets and everything in between, we attack the “problem” mercilessly.

So it’s no surprise then that recently I received an email asking if equine…


Added by claire Dorotik on May 29, 2012 at 6:08pm — No Comments

Equine Therapy: Unplugged

Equine Therapy: Unplugged

More people than ever before are “connected”. Smart phones, Ipads, laptops and video games seem the norm when forced to wait for any these days, even if the wait is only 3 minutes. Additionally, these connection devices have easily infested almost every area of our lives and people -- so much so that to ask someone to put down the phone, shut off the computer or ipad, or disconnect the earbuds from their ears is like…


Added by claire Dorotik on May 21, 2012 at 5:24pm — No Comments

A Bioenergetic Approach to Repetition Compulsion

There are many reasons people do things, and often, these motivations are not obvious to…


Added by claire Dorotik on May 1, 2012 at 8:31pm — No Comments

Equine Therapy: The Effects of Perfectionism on Horse-Human Relationships

Perfectionism drives human performance to elite levels, often achieving unequalled accomplishments. However, the push to be great can also have a deleterious effect on a person’s mood, and certainly, relationships. Often those around the perfectionist feel disregarded, or inadequate. But what if the relationship with the perfectionist involves a horse? 

Horses have a unique way of telling us the truth about…


Added by claire Dorotik on April 23, 2012 at 6:50pm — No Comments

Equine Therapy: Human-Animal Bonds

A study recently conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association found that 74 percent of dog owners, 60 percent of cat owners, and 45 percent of bird owners considered their pet as a child or family member. Sixty two percent of cat and dog owners said their pet helped them relax and relieved stress. Further, 59 percent of dog owners and 37 percent of cat owners thought their pets were not only good for their health but would help them live…


Added by claire Dorotik on March 26, 2012 at 11:45pm — 2 Comments

Equine Therapy: Horses and Oxytocin

The other day, a client in my office brought up an interesting issue. From the time she was young, she recalls being a “dog person”, and always finding great joy and comfort in their presence. However, recently, she has noticed that the mere sight of dog hair in her house can send her into a fit.

After assessing, and ruling out any OCD diagnosis, and looking back into her history to determine exactly when this frustration started, what became clear is that around the…


Added by claire Dorotik on March 19, 2012 at 7:33pm — 1 Comment

Equine Therapy: Improving the Horse Industry

According to Greenhorn Horse Facts, “As of December 2007, approximately 45,000 horses had been shipped to Mexico, compared to the 11,000 shipped in 2006. That’s a 310% increase in the number of horses shipped to Mexico to be slaughtered for human consumption. The sad thing is that, not all of the horses are just old, sick or un-manageable horses. A lot of them are PMU horses and…


Added by claire Dorotik on March 6, 2012 at 7:03pm — No Comments

Equine Therapy: Learning Empathy from a Horse

While those in the world of midfulness may be well aware that empathy toward others is a recipe for a feeling of wellbeing within oneself, for many people, just how to increase a sense of empathy can be a challenging subject. This, of course is complicated when many people struggle with feeling empathetic towad others. To be sure, when empathy isn’t expressed, it isn’t gained either. So if this is the case, how does one go about increasing empathy? And, further, is it possible that animals,…


Added by claire Dorotik on March 3, 2012 at 1:04am — No Comments

Equine Therapy: A Few Good Studies

Equine therapy studies are hard to find. And perhaps even more challenging to find, studies that utilize sound research protocol. Of course this leaves many well intentioned mental health practitioners to question the validity of equine therapy. On the other hand, there are many potential recipients of equine therapy who wish that there insurance company would cover equine work so that they may partake in it.

So, that being said, lets take a look at a few good equine…


Added by claire Dorotik on February 28, 2012 at 7:07pm — No Comments

Equine Therapy: In the Biopsychosocial Model

There is no shortage of stress reduction strategies, particularly these days. And for the most part, these interventions can be incorporated into the traditional psychotherapeutic model quite easily. When this occurs, a triage like form of care can be offered to the patient which leaves less room for unmet needs that may cause problems later.

No other area is this more true than in the case of substance abuse recovery. Addicts have often more than one additional…


Added by claire Dorotik on February 23, 2012 at 5:38pm — 1 Comment

Equine Therapy Certifications: Which is Best?

Recently, a member of the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association (EFMHA), posed an important question. New to the field of equine therapy, and only just beginning to amass an understanding of the practice, this horse enthusiast was wondering which, of the many certification now available if the horse healing world would be best.

The question is worth pondering for sure as with the recent growth of equine therapy, new…


Added by claire Dorotik on February 20, 2012 at 11:35pm — No Comments

Equine Therapy and Intra-Family Violence: Are there benefits?

Intra-Family violence can be one of the most challenging issues to treat in therapy. Much of the complexity results not only from the family’s likely mistrust of the system and the professionals that are a part of it -- particularly in cases where Child Protective Services may have already intervened -- but also, the prevalence of co-occurring disorders, such as addictions.

Often, these family’s will minimize the extent of the violence, possibly target one family member…


Added by claire Dorotik on February 16, 2012 at 1:03am — No Comments

Equine Therapy: Humanity From A Horse

Horses have been domesticated for many years, and from the very beginning, it was us teaching them. We attached our ropes, harnesses, saddles, and ideas unto them, We taught them what to be, think, and do.

And amazingly, they went along. Horses obliged us. When we asked them to carry us just where we wanted to go -- and sometimes in the most dangerous circumstances -- they did. After all, horses were the very first war vehicle.

And when…


Added by claire Dorotik on February 3, 2012 at 9:48pm — 1 Comment

Equine Therapy on the T.V.

With America’s endless fascination with horse racing, and his own personal history with the sport, it’s no surprise that David Milch decided to introduce a new HBO series with horses right at the heart. Boasting such fame as Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte, Kevin Dunn, and even real life former jockey, Gary Stevens, “Luck” promises a thrilling ride.

While many books, such as Seabiscuit, Ruffian, Wild Ride, and Secretariat have offered the public a glimpse into the inner…


Added by claire Dorotik on January 31, 2012 at 6:43pm — No Comments

Equine Therapy in the Medical World?

Malcolm Gladwell was the first to uncover the real truth about why patients sue their doctors. Opposite of what one may think, it has nothing to do with whether of not the doctor actually did something wrong. Instead, it has everything to do with whether or not the patient felt as thought the doctor did something wrong. And something wrong, according to the patient is not listening, not validating, and not expressing empathy for their concerns. 

What Gladwell was…


Added by claire Dorotik on January 26, 2012 at 9:18pm — 2 Comments

Equine Therapy Webinars

Today it is not surprising that online education is becoming more frequently the common medium of information dissemination. For just about every topic, it seems as though there is a webinar or teleseminar that one can register for easily, and attend from the comfort of one’s couch. However, it is a bit surprising that something as experiential as equine therapy can be taught via the internet, yet it is most certainly true.

So just what is taught…


Added by claire Dorotik on January 17, 2012 at 2:39pm — No Comments

Equine Therapy: Preparation is 90% of Success

Dust settled as the leather fringe of well worn chaps flung in the wind and the young cowboy pulled his horse to a quick stop. Then, clutching his reins in frustration, he looked up at the sky and shook his head. His horse had taken the wrong lead...again. (The horse’s lead describes the leg he leads off of when cantering. For example to canter to the right, the horse must be on the right lead, and the left lead to go left. When on the incorrect lead,…


Added by claire Dorotik on January 12, 2012 at 5:32pm — 1 Comment

Equine Therapy: The Nature of Horse and Human Relationships

While relationships can often lead to copious amounts of confusion, frustration, and elation, for most of us, defining the nature of them is actually quite challenging. For one thing, we are the relationship. That is to say that we ourselves, comprise what we are trying to understand. Therefore attempting to understand a relationship that you are a part of is much like trying to develop self awareness without any external input. Well, when it comes to understanding horse and human…


Added by claire Dorotik on January 12, 2012 at 1:00am — No Comments

Equine Therapy: The Shadow Self

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung stressed the importance of becoming aware of the shadow self. According to Jung, the shadow is the unconscious complex characterized by the repressed, denied, or disowned parts of the self. It is, essentially those things that a person does not accept about himself or herself. Further, as this uncomfortable part of the self is often denied, it is also often projected onto others, which, according to Jung is why a person…


Added by claire Dorotik on January 5, 2012 at 7:07pm — No Comments

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