Equine-Facilitated Therapy and Trauma: Current Knowledge, Future Needs
Equine-facilitated therapy (EFT) is a relatively new treatment for trauma and PTSD. EFT as well as animal assisted interventions in general have been introduced and implemented in mental health treatment for children and adults, though the research in support of these interventions has not kept up with practice. The purpose of this review is to examine the use of EFT for clients suffering from trauma/PTSD. Studies were included if PTSD/trauma was assessed and/or was measured as an outcome. A search of relevant databases resulted in nine peer-reviewed studies that met criteria. Studies are summarized and implications for future research are discussed. In general, findings suggest that EFT is a promising intervention for trauma/PTSD. Recommendations include a call for more research that includes veterans as well as for research that explicates the mechanisms by which EFT may be effective.
Key words: trauma, PTSD, equine, equine therapy
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