Promising Findings: Equine Therapy and PTSD
September 20, 2022
Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) has shown promise in improving mental health symptoms in veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), according to recent research. Here are the key findings:
- Reduced Stress: EFP sessions helped decrease stress levels in veterans.
- Improved Wellbeing: EFP sessions led to improved measures of wellbeing in veterans.
- Regulated Autonomic Nervous System: EFP helped regulate heart rate and promote relaxation.
- Enhanced Mood: Veterans reported improved mood and reduced anxiety after EFP sessions.
- Human-Horse Connection: Physiological synchronization between humans and horses was observed, with strong agreement in cortisol level changes and heart rate variability changes between the human-horse dyads.
- Increasing the "Dose" of EFP: The study suggests that increasing the frequency of EFP sessions may result in more pronounced and longer-term positive effects on veterans' mental health.
These findings provide valuable support for the efficacy of EFP programs in improving mental health symptoms in veterans with PTSD. They also highlight the potential for human-horse bonding as a positive outcome of EFP.
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