So what is EAP, really?

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy comes in many shapes and sizes. In general, it involves working with horses, a therapist, and an equine professional to meet mental health treatment goals and personal growth.


EAP is experiential, providing a space to problem solve, be creative, and investigate the ways you form relationships with yourself and others. Sessions are process-oriented, focusing on the journey of discovery rather than the 1-2-3's of a task.


In addition to horse-specific work, you will learn various relaxation and stress management techniques that can be used outside of sessions. The skills developed while building a relationship with a horse can be used to enrich all areas of your life.


Although EAP can include a riding component when appropriate, it is not hippotherapy, therapeutic riding, or a riding lesson. Our focus while working with the horses is not horsemanship – it is to provide mental health services and/or personal development.

No prior horse experience is needed to participate in EAP!

Why horses?

Horses, like humans, are social animals who need relationships with others to survive and thrive.

Unlike dogs who tend to be unconditionally accepting, horses respond to the energy and intention of the people working with them. Relationships with horses cannot be forced or faked.


The communication we receive from horses is immediate and honest.


Horses will respond to behavior much like a person will. You will begin to see how your behaviors effect other people and how those behaviors effect you.


Horses are inherently mindful. In order to communicate with them effectively it is necessary to be fully present, self-regulated, and congruent (your inner experience must match your outer experience) in your interactions.

EAP is appropriate for those seeking improvement with:

  • Social Skills

  • Effective communication skills

  • Forming and maintaining healthy relationships

  • Problem solving / creative thinking

  • Self-esteem

  • Confidence

  • Self-awareness

  • Leadership skills / teamwork

  • Assertiveness

  • Resilience

  • Relaxation skills

  • Mindfulness practice

  • Parenting skills

  • Self-regulation

  • Healthy boundary setting

  • Self-care

  • Life transitions

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy  |  Liza Chartier, LPCA  |  919-990-3412  |  |  Raleigh & Wendell, NC