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621 | Equine Assisted Therapy: Horses Inspiring Hope and Healing through Stories

Saturday 9/16 8:45 – 10:00 AM, Social Work: Current Developments, Trends, and Best Practices, Workshop Tracks


Daniel Brooks, M.S.W.; Carol Young



Approved For CE

Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Chemical Dependency Counselors, Pastors, Pastoral Counselors, Lay Counselors, Coaches

Approved For CME/CEU




The Arenas for Change (ARCH) framework is an intervention method based on and adapted from therapies and theories tested and supported by research, primarily social construction therapeutic approaches including narrative, collaborative, and solution-focused therapies. The framework focuses on the SEEN keystones, namely Sense of Self, Empowering Mindset, Externalized Story, and Natural Flow, each of which is grounded in peer-reviewed literature. The focus of SEEN is to help a licensed mental health professional or coach create a psychologically safe environment to increase treatment success. Applying the framework in an experiential environment incorporating horses provides a living storyboard for the narrative to move from problem stories to preferred stories in addressing treatment goals in a psychologically safe environment. Incorporating horses in the treatment intervention is supported by research displaying the benefits for clients with substance use disorder, veterans with PTSD, adults with trauma and abuse, at-risk youth, young adults, students, and chronic psychiatric inpatients. Healing Strides will be an example of an organization that practices this model in their Equine Assisted Services Mental Health, Education, and Coaching program.

Learning Objectives

1. Describe the value of horses and why they bring more opportunity for healing to a therapeutic environment in the ARCH framework
2. Outline the application and power of stories and horses as an experiential model to be explored
3. Formulate a plan that can be tested in the clinician and coach’s own market area
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