EAGALA model equine assisted psychotherapy has been proven to help military, veterans and their families. The services can assist a family with reunification, as well as support those who struggle with PTSD, using a group to support each other in the transition from Combat Soldier to Civilian or help Wounded Warriors manage anger and other intense emotions.
The two types of services are unmounted and either equine assisted psychotherapy or equine assisted personal development. We believe that horses partnering with soldiers and vets for wellbeing can benefit not only those that served but those around them as well.
“Results from a pilot program conducted by Refuge Services, an EAGALA Military Services Program in Texas, found that service members and their spouses reported major and measurable improvements in their marriages. There were dramatically fewer incidents of abuse and arguments. They reported more forgiveness, loving connection and time together. All after only six sessions.” Taken from the EAGALA materials explaining the modality and it’s benefits for the military population.
Funds are being raised in partnership with the non-profit Empowerment Through Connections to provide scholarships.
There is a growing interest in equine-assisted psychotherapy supporting the psychological health and family relationships of service members, veterans and their families worldwide.
EAGALA Military Services
EAGALA Military Services is a designation which indicates the EAGALA Certified professionals have specialized training and experience in the military community. The designation requires an annual renewal in which providers must complete continuing education each year to remain abreast of current military lifestyle and issues.
EAGALA Military Services sets a high standard of excellence – respecting the cultural and professional competence needed to provide the best services possible for the military community.
- DOWNLOAD the EAGALA Military Services brochure
- Click here for a listing of EAGALA Military Services PROVIDERS
- Click here to donate to support EAGALA Military Services programs
- EAGALA Certified professionals – click here to become an EAGALA Military Services provider
Treating the effects of trauma is never easy. And in military culture, the challenge is even greater. The special demands placed on our service members and their families can lead to sometimes-tragic consequences: PTSD, depression, divorce, drug and alcohol addiction, trauma, and suicide.
These unique challenges and traumas deserve our most effective healing. That’s where the EAGALA Model comes in.
With a military culture that values hands-on action and doing, EAGALA Model equine-assisted psychotherapy often works where other traditional methods of treatment fail. Decidedly action-oriented, the EAGALA Model helps military clients understand and recognize patterns, build on their personal strengths, and translate emotional insights into life-changing action.
The experiential nature of working with horses through the EAGALA Model engages military personnel in their own healing process, with solutions that meet them squarely on their own terms. Horses have a special ability to help people work through emotional barriers, serving as metaphors and powerful stand-ins for the people, issues, and challenges in the client’s life. The EAGALA Model leads to powerful emotional breakthroughs and life-changing insights for the client, strengthening resilience and coping skills. Through the efforts of facilitators certified with EAGALA Military Services designation, service members, veterans, and their families can more quickly and completely understand and integrate new perspectives and behaviors into their lives.
This is especially true and valuable for people who suffer the effects of trauma. With the EAGALA Model therapy, clients challenge themselves in activities with horses that remove much of the perceived stigma associated with traditional talk therapy treatment methods.
EAGALA is the world’s largest and most professionally respected association for equine-assisted psychotherapy, tested and subject to ongoing study and development. EAGALA’s high standards, combined with its effective, replicable Military Services model, sets it apart from all other “horse therapy” programs.
EAGALA Military Services Providers are uniquely qualified to help service members and their families, and is the global standard for serving active military, reserves, and veterans. EAGALA is the only equine-assisted psychotherapy association to offer a special Military Services Designation, going above and beyond to serve.
- 2013 Program Evaluation report – EAGALA Model and Michigan Veterans Admin to address Veterans’ PTSD
- 12 September 2014: Office of U.S. Representative Julia Brownley “Brownley Announces VA Partnership with Reins of Hope for Veterans’ Mental Health Services,” an EAGALA Military Services provider
- 17 July 2014: New Data on Lone Survivor Foundation’s Retreat Program Show Significantly Reduced PTSD Effects for Post 9/11 Service Members, Veterans and Their Families
- Read selected articles on EAGALA with military
- Watch video on EAGALA Military Services programs
- Media contact for more information
- EAGALA Military Task Force – Chair Halina Kowalski
“We have conducted a number of EAGALA EAP sessions with our veterans including a series of workshops focusing on coping resources, resilience and anger management. Across the board, veteran participants have told me that never have they found a group or individual session so useful and life-changing, and that they have found hope. After these workshops, many reflect frequently on the experience and skills learned then take them into their daily lives.” -Susan T. Lisi, AFGE Local 3306 Chief Steward, VA Medical Center in Canandaigua, New York.
Iraq War veteran: “Seeing how differently the horses reacted to each one of us has helped me get closer to my wife. It has brought our entire family closer than we have ever been.”
The psychological health needs of service members, their families and their survivors are daunting and growing. The evidence for this is substantial. Despite the suppressing effects of stigma, more than a third of active duty Soldiers and Marines self-report psychological health problems in the months following deployment, as do half of the members of the Reserve Component (DMSS, 2007). Rates of self-reported psychosocial and marital concerns are highest among service members exposed to the greatest degree of danger and who have repeatedly deployed. Further, the number of service members in these subgroups continues to grow (U. S. Army, 2006; Wheeler, 2007).
The time for action is now. The human and financial costs of un-addressed problems will rise dramatically over time. Our nation learned this lesson, at a tragic cost, in the years following the Vietnam War. Fully investing in prevention, early intervention, and effective treatment are responsibilities incumbent upon us as we endeavor to fulfill our obligation to our military service members.
– Report of the Department of Defense Task Force on Mental Health, June 2007