What is Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)?

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is an experiential and solution-oriented treatment model that works with a mental health professional, equine specialist, and horses to treat mental health issues. EAP is different than therapeutic riding or hippotherapy as it is focused primarily on the treatment of emotional and mental health concerns with a licensed mental health professional.

What is Equine Assisted Learning?

Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is similar to Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP); however, services are not treating a specific mental health disorder. EAL is a useful intervention for less severe issues such as personal or professional growth, improving communication and team building, and skill development in individual and group settings.

What is EAGALA?

The Equine Assisted Growth And Learning Association (EAGALA) is a global network of highly professional and passionate individuals incorporating horses in services and activities to treat mental illness and support personal and professional growth. To become EAGALA certified the professional attends specialized training in partnering with horses to facilitate equine-assisted psychotherapy services. In order to maintain their certification, the professional must participate in continued education and trainings every two years specific to the EAGALA model.

EAGALA adheres to four core standards:

  • Team Approach
  • Focus on the Ground
  • Solution-Oriented
  • Code of Ethics

For more information please visit www.eagala.org

What mental health issues do you treat?

Our mental health professional, Caitlin Lowry, LMFT specializes in treating adolescents and adults experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, grief and loss, trauma, and difficulty with life transitions. Caitlin is experienced in serving at-risk youth and families involved with the child welfare system and centers her treatment from a trauma-informed lens.

Who is on the treatment team?

Each equine session has a treatment team consisting of a minimum of one licensed mental health professional, an equine specialist, and of course a horse (or several horses).

For more information about our team members please click the links under “Meet Our Team” on our menu bar.

Why horses?

As prey animals in the wild, horses have learned to survive through sensing energy in their fellow herd members and surrounding environment as a way of keeping themselves safe. This instinct allows a unique opportunity for therapy services as the horses reflect the client’s internal state even when a client may present something entirely different on the outside. They communicate both verbally and non-verbally and have the some of the fastest reaction times of any animal on the planet. This allows horses to provide accurate, honest, and immediate feedback. Additionally, as large, intelligent, and powerful animals, they provide clients the opportunity to overcome fears and develop confidence that can transfer into other areas in their lives. Every horse is also an individual, and, like humans, they have their own unique experiences in this world, personalities, and moods.

What do the horses do in sessions?

During most sessions the horses are “at liberty.” This means that the horses are left loose in the arena or pasture to allow them to simply be themselves. This allows horses the opportunity to engage or disengage in session as they please and offers the most genuine experience for connection as they interact with clients and other horses in the space.

Do we get to ride the horses?

Our program at Tailwinds Therapy follows the EAGALA model and adheres to a ground-based program for most sessions. The focus on the ground allows for a greater level of connection within the relationship with the horse and the opportunity for clients to gain a greater depth of understanding through the metaphors developed in session.

Therapeutic Riding can be provided on a limited basis with our equine specialist Amber Preheim (Professional Association of Therapeutic- PATH Riding Certified Instructor) when mounted activities would best serve the client’s needs.

What if I’m scared or nervous about interacting with horses?

Here at Tailwinds Therapy we want to serve you. If you are feeling anxious or nervous about sessions we will take it one step at a time. We will patiently work with you to navigate the fears and help you progress in treatment at a pace that is right for you.

Additionally, if you are not looking for services that involve working with horses and are interested in a more traditional approach to therapy, we do offer in-office sessions at our office in downtown Clovis as well as online therapy services. Click here to learn more.

Is this right for me?

Regardless of your level of horse experience, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning may be right for you. Our treatment model is ground-based therefore there is no riding involved and no prior horse experience or horse knowledge is required to benefit from services.

Equine services are rendered outdoors at a private ranch. Services are provided in the pasture or in an arena with dirt footing. We recommend you dress in closed toe shoes and wear layers depending on the weather. Please let us know if you have any additional needs for accommodations to attend sessions.

During our initial intake we will go over your individual needs and concerns and will address any questions you have about the process. During that process our team will determine if services will benefit your individual needs and we will do our best to provide referrals to other resources should our services not match your needs.

How long does treatment last?

Every case is unique and services are tailored to meet your individual needs. Some find that equine assisted services offer more insight than traditional talk-therapy models and therefore find the services beneficial in helping clients meet their goals at a faster rate. Please feel free to contact us for additional information or to schedule an intake.

How much do sessions cost?

Please visit our “Fees” page for more information.

All rates and fees will be discussed prior to the onset of treatment and you will receive proper notification if there are ever any changes to the scheduled fees.

Do you take insurance?

At this time we are only accepting private payment for services. There are several important factors that have contributed to this decision. First and foremost, we value your privacy and in order to bill insurance, we have to provide your insurance company with a mental health diagnosis to begin treatment. This means that if your symptoms are not severe enough to warrant a clinical diagnosis your insurance may deny the claim. Additionally, by not billing insurance we are provided more freedom in tailoring services to meet your individual needs as opposed to structuring sessions based on what insurance will or will not cover.

If you want to use your insurance, we do provide options to utilize out of network benefits with PPO insurance plans. We have found that some clients have out of network benefits that can cover as much as 100% of services, while others unfortunately do not have any out of network benefits available. We highly suggest you contact your insurance provider to discuss your out of network benefits prior to beginning treatment.

If you do qualify for out of network benefits, your therapist can provide you will a super-bill at the end of sessions to present to your insurance to seek reimbursement.

A super-bill is an itemized receipt for mental health services that includes a mental health diagnosis code and treatment code that your insurance will process to bill for services. At the time of your session you pay the full session fee using cash, check, or credit/debit and then you submit the super-bill to your insurance provider. Once they approve the claim they will send reimbursement based on what is available through your out of network benefits.

Remember that it is the responsibility of the payer to contact their insurance to find out what benefits are covered by their plan prior to the onset of treatment. It is important to note that a super-bill will only be generated once you and your therapist have discussed and agreed upon this option.

Where are your services located?

We are currently seeing clients both online and in person at 555 4th Street Suite 1 Clovis, CA 93612.

Equine sessions are provided at a private ranch in Clovis, CA.

What is the first step for getting started in services? And how do I stay in touch?

Email us at waitlist@tailwindstherapy.com or call us at 559-472-3981 to learn more. You can also text 559-387-4367.

You can also join our email list to stay informed about updates as we continue to grow. We welcome you to contact us at info@tailwindstherapy.com to learn more.

Contact us at 559-472-3981 for a free consultation!