The specially trained psychologists at McCaskill Family Services are excited to team up with Brighton Equestrian Club to offer Equine Therapy (also referred to as Horse Therapy, Equine-Assisted Therapy, and Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy).
This type of therapy involves interactions between patients and horses in guided activities such as grooming, feeding, leading, mounting, and riding to improve behavior, thought processes and emotional control. Equine Assisted Therapy is a treatment that promotes physical, emotional and occupational growth.
What is Equine Therapy?
An Informational Webinar
What are the Benefits of Equine Therapy?
Studies have shown that equine therapy has been successful in helping children, teens and adults make significant improvements in a short amount of time in the following areas:
- Self- Esteem
- Anger Management
- Social Skills and Communication
- Emotional Awareness
- Stress Management
- Impulse Control
- Anxiety Management
- Problem-Solving Skills
- Improved Mood
- Interpersonal Relationships
Horses are astute at reading human emotions and people often turn to animals for comfort. Horses are by nature accepting and non-judgmental. They can mirror human emotions and behavior and will respond to negativity, therefore encouraging the client to be calm, open, gentle and aware.
While working with horses under the guidance and supervision of an equine therapist, equine therapy patients have a unique and effective opportunity to get direct feedback on their pattern of problematic behaviors, self-defeating negative thoughts and actions. These insights and skills then translate to everyday life and people feel happier, more connected and successful.
Who Would Benefit from Equine Therapy from McCaskill Family Services?
Children of all ages, Teenagers and Adults with:
- Behavior Problems
- Learning Disabilities
- Attachment Disorders
- Anger Problems
- Social Problems
- Lack of Empathy
As Featured on Channel 7 Action News
Our New 3-Day-Workshop Format Starts In 2021!
Please call the office at 734-416-9098 for more information or to register.
Grief Support Workshop
The grieving process is not a one size fits all model. Every individual struggles to overcome loss and bereavement in their own way. If you have recently lost a loved one, a friend, a pet, or are struggling with another type of loss, consider joining McCaskill Family Services at the Brighton Equestrian Club for a 3-day-workshop centered around helping individuals who are struggling with grief and loss. This group will focus on helping you feel less scared, depressed and alone through the development of a bond with your equine partner. The psychologist will guide you through empirically-based therapy approaches that have been proven to be very effective and often used in grief therapy sessions in the office. Horses are incredibly powerful mirrors of human emotion and the horse-human bond is one that can help people people find peace during difficult times. No horse experience is necessary to participate. We will teach you all you need to know in order to bond safely with your equine partner.
Each session runs from 4:30-6:00pm. Closed toed shoes required.
Adult Mindfulness Workshop
Teen Anxiety & Depression Workshop
Do you have a teenager struggling with issues of depression, anxiety, isolation, or low self-confidence? Equine therapy could be the answer. This group will utilize a combination of empirically validated Cognitive Behavioral and Dialectical Behavioral techniques, along with the horse, to help individuals build mastery over their lives while challenging negative beliefs. It is open to ages 12-17. No horse experience is necessary. Close-toed shoes required.
Anger Management Workshop
The pre-teenage years can be an incredibly stressful time for both kids and their parents, filled with ever changing emotions and situations. Adolescents who struggle with the challenges of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, ADHD, and other behavioral issues often find it difficult to navigate their environment successfully while maintaining important relationships. This 3-day-workshop uses techniques from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, an empirically validated treatment, and equine therapy to help your child learn prosocial behaviors, while appropriately handling their negative emotions. The horse is an incredibly powerful and sensitive animal that only responds to respectful, confident interaction. Your child will work with their equine partner to establish a healthy, cooperative relationship, building skills that can be utilized outside the barn as well. Topics such as respect, communication, teamwork, leadership, empathy, and compassion will be at the forefront of each group.
Each session runs from 4:30-6:00pm, and is open to boys and girls ages 10-12. No horse experience is required. Close-toed shoes required.
Understanding Emotions Workshop
Help For Parents of Strong-Willed Children Workshop
Anxiety and Anger Workshop
The pre-teenage years can be an incredibly stressful time for both kids and their parents, filled with ever changing emotions and situations. Adolescents who struggle with the challenges of anxiety, ADHD, and other behavioral issues often find it difficult to navigate their environment successfully while maintaining important relationships. This 3-day-workshop uses techniques from Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, an empirically validated treatment, and equine therapy to help your child learn prosocial behaviors, while appropriately handling their negative emotions. The horse is an incredibly powerful and sensitive animal that only responds to respectful, confident, and calm interaction. Your child will work with their equine partner to establish a healthy, cooperative relationship, building skills that can be utilized outside the barn as well. Topics such as anxiety regulation, respect, communication, teamwork, empathy, and compassion will be at the forefront of each group. No horse experience is required. Close-toed shoes required.
Are you a veteran struggling to manage the physical and mental injuries left behind by combat related trauma? Veterans all over the country have been finding great benefit from Equine Assisted Therapy. McCaskill Family Services and the Brighton Equestrian Club are partnering together to offer support for veterans suffering from the symptoms of PTSD. Horses, by nature, are incredibly peaceful animals, but they also mirror human emotions closer than any other domesticated animal. This group will focus on allowing individuals to build a powerful connection with their equine partner to overcome the anxiety, hypervigilance, and other difficult symptoms associated with a trauma-related condition. The group will be a combination of both riding and groundwork designed to help group members increase confidence, build coping skills, and reduce stress. No riding experience is necessary. We will teach you all you need to know! Closed-toed shoes required.
Stress is a part of everyone's daily life. If you are experiencing stress, it simply means that the demands of the current situation are not matching what you are reasonably able to handle at this time. Although stress is normal, chronic stress can result in cognitive impairment such as memory loss, poor concentration and focus and medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. If you are looking for some help with stress management, consider joining McCaskill Family Services at the Brighton Equestrian Club for a group centered on helping individuals who are struggling with stress. Through the use of the horse along with a specially trained psychologist, group members will learn methods to help manage and reduce stress. There is something uniquely powerful and calming about the ability to establish a connection with such a large, sensitive animal. We will work with you to develop an individualized stress management plan and will teach you specific, highly-effective techniques to reduce your stress. You will feel better and will be much more effective and efficient in your work and daily life activities. No horse experience is required. Close-toed shoes required.
Each workshop runs for 3 days, from 4:30-6:00pm, priced at a total of $499. Each 90 minute session is billed as a therapy session with a Licensed Ph.D. Psychologist. Insurance companies reimburse this the same way they do group sessions in an office setting. If your insurance pays for out-of-network providers, they will likely reimburse in a similar fashion for these workshops. We will provide you with receipts that you can submit to your insurance company.
Listen to our Radio Interview with Dr. Deanna Lites on WWJ Newsradio 950
-teen girls name kept anonymous for confidentiality
-teen boys name kept anonymous for confidentiality
I was encouraged to participate in the Adult Equine Therapy program (led by Dr Nicole)in conjunction with my regular, in office, therapy. I had no idea what to expect or how it could help me. It was a life changing experience. The program pushed me to bring together all I was working on in regular therapy and incorporate it into my day to day life. It challenged my thought processes, it challenged me to let go of anxiety, and it pushed me even farther to really mourn and forgive some scars from my past, and finally live a more authentic day to day life. It gave me mindfulness skills I had no idea I was capable of. Truly, over the course of the program all the pieces came together. Moreover, the coordination between my work in weekly therapy and the equine therapy was seamless. My regular therapist/doctor and Dr. Nicole were always on the same page, which really help too. Dr. Nicole’s lessons, challenges and compassion translated into amazing weekly growth. I was often stunned at how much my horse was in tune with me, and how the exercises and lessons enhanced and helped me heal. I adore my horse and am grateful for all she taught me. It was hard work, but I put in the effort and honesty and the rewards were huge. Lastly, Brighton Equestrian Club is a beautiful facility. It is clean, modern, joyful and very very nice. It was a genuine pleasure to walk into their facility.
Thank you for this opportunity
-name kept anonymous for confidentiality
-Alyssa Jacobs (assistant to winter 2109 groups)
If you are interested in learning more about the individual and/or group therapy options available through the Equine Therapy Division of McCaskill Family Services, please contact us at our Brighton office location, 810.224.1676. No riding experience is necessary. As groups form, we will try to match your child with same-age peers.