The Grace Foundation of Northern California

Care, Compassion, Concern for All Living Things

The Grace Foundation offers Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) services facilitated by a licensed Marriage and family therapist certified in equine assisted therapy. EAL and EAP have been shown to be very effective in treating many mental health and behavioral issue needs such as:

  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Trauma and abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Anger management
  • Task completion, motivation, focus
  • Self-destructive thinking
  • Relationship and communication issues
  • Grief and loss
  • Self-esteem and self-awareness issues

EAL/EAP clients engage in activities with horses that stimulate thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that are then explored to assist the client in reaching resolutions and increasing self-awareness. These therapies are effective with children, adults, families and groups, as well as businesses and schools looking to improve their communication and management skills. EAL activities focus on teaching:

  • Life skills
  • Improving communication
  • Team building
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Encouraging personal growth
  • Teaching effective parenting skills
  • Increasing self-awareness

The advantages of having a horse assist in the therapeutic process are many including:

  • Handling an animal of this size and strength increases confidence and decreases fears
  • Horses mirror our emotions and help clients become more readily aware of their feelings so they can process them more quickly
  • Developing a trusting relationship with the horse inspires the client to transfer this new skill to their human relationships
  • A horse gives unconditional acceptance thus influencing a sense of self-worth
  • Horses decrease defensiveness in the client, thus allowing the therapist and client to develop trust and reach resolutions more quickly
  • Working with horses teaches effort, patience, responsibility, focus, and staying on task
  • By helping to nurture and heal an abused horse, the client develops a feeling of purpose and accomplishment

EAL and EAP are typically shorter-term programs, but can be integrated with a variety of other therapies very successfully. If you would like to know more about your therapeutic options, please contact Julie McBride, M.A., LMFT at (916) 941-0800 or email Julie at: .