Experiential Therapy at Lakeview Health

Addiction treatment at Lakeview Health goes well beyond counseling and group meetings. Our experiential therapy programs offer patients unique ways to understand their addiction, work on coping and recovery skills and establish healthy habits. These types of alternative treatment can provide a way to engage patients who respond slowly to conventional therapies. Currently, Lakeview Health’s gender responsive treatment offers these experiential and alternative therapies.

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Equine Therapy – Experiential Therapy With Horses

One of the types of experiential therapy featured at Lakeview Health is the unique practice of equine therapy. employs the EAGALA Model Equine Assisted Psychotherapy in working with patients struggling to let their guard down, helping them uncover their strengths, learning how to take responsibility for their choices and actions, realize their obstacles, and practice new skills. This entire experience is enhanced by the inclusion of horses, which they interact with and learn from.

Often patients get stuck in the “why” and instead need to consider the “how” of life. Through the use of horse interaction, patients can “feel” the learning and not get in their head about the old messages of their disease.

Why Horses and Not Goats?


Horses are large powerful animals who are social and have unique personalities, attitudes and moods. They often provide immediate feedback and live “in the moment”. They do not judge, shame, or blame, but do require trust. This interaction creates opportunities for metaphors between 12 –step and real life.

Working with horses requires consistency in re-earning permission to lead them. They sense when people are being real and authentic., often a difficult trait for patients in early recovery. It’s impossible to fake a connection with an animal that is intuitively designed to know who can be trusted and who cannot. Patients witness this first hand in their early interaction with the horses.

Benefits of Equine Assisted Therapy


Patients have experienced:

  • Increased confidence
  • Learning to problem solve and make better decisions
  • Identifying the “living in the moment” and being present in their life right now
  • Feeling a sense of belonging and not being judged for their past experiences
  • Increased communication by learning how to ask for help

We invite you to hear more about Equine Assisted Therapy from StarLee Heady, Clinician and Professional Horseman with PX Equine Enterprises, who works with our Lakeview Health clients. Listen to Podcast

For more information about EAGALA visit: www.eagala.org

For more information for PX Equine Enterprises: www.PXEquine.com


Phenomenal experience. Took me away from my cravings and addictive behaviors. Focused on the awesome new feelings and awareness this adventure provided. I love having fun sober! It’s amazing and awesome! Thank you Lakeview for your top-level staff and care. You’ve changed my life. Forever grateful.

– Sharon B

This experience was definitely two hours of pure excitement. You are able to clear your mind of everything that you may be going through and focus on being in tune with something that is definitely a positive for one’s recovery.

– Brandon W

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