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Benefe Equine Assisted Therapy Center
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy is an experiential approach to therapy.
Due to their sensitivity, the horse responds and reacts to people differently based upon the individuals emotional state. Since we know that emotions in human beings also impact our physiology, it only makes sense that horses who can smell or sense those subtle changes became a natural choice for a therapy partner. The horse acts as a large mirror providing the therapist information regarding the clients moods and changes in the clients affect. With a team consisting of a licensed therapist, an equine specialist and a horse, the client is given immediate feedback to their progress.
Equine Assisted Learning is also an experiential approach used to address behavioral challenges and social skills. With a team consisting of a certified teacher, an equine specialist and horses, these issues are addressed, promoting more success in the classroom and in life.
The horse is a critically important partner in the work using either EAP or EAL. As a prey animal the horse is sensitive to the subtle changes in the environment making them perfect partners for professionals who teach a wide range of life and coping skills. Structured activities create opportunities for the client to enhance their self awareness and learn about themselves and others.
Benefe believes in the power of the relationship that is created during un-mounted activities. This environment gives the horse an un-bridled opportunity to mirror or reflect the clients behavior and actions. By creating an atmosphere of mutual respect between horse and client, the horse is allowed to reflect honest feedback to the client. This may not be available while mounted as the dynamic changes to becoming a dominant/subordinate relationship, rather than being equal partners in the therapy process.
We are located in Peters Creek mid-way between Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, at the base of Bear Mountain. Our facility offers a large outdoor arena for our activities.
The Benefe Team consists of the following:
Valarie Prince- PATH Certified Equine Specialist
Stephanie Asplund- M.ED Counseling Masters, K-12 Certified Teacher
Katy Tingstad- Certified Teacher with a Special Education Endorsement
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When the weather presents challenges we can continue our services in our indoor arena year round.
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning are emerging fields in which horses are used in a therapeutic setting to foster emotional change and learning. At Benefe we believe in a holistic approach which addresses cognitive, emotional and spiritual growth.