What is the difference between EAP and EAL?

For starters Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is not horsemanship. The focus is not on riding, but on psychology. A licensed clinical professional is needed in order to consider the activities EAP.

EAP uses horses experientially for emotional growth and learning. It is an effort made by the therapist and horse riding professionals to work with clients in treatment disorders. EAP can be compared in nature to ropes courses taught by some therapists because the students learn feelings, behaviors, teamwork, and patterns when participating in EAP. EAP has the added bonus of using living animals that are both beautiful and powerful which leads to an emotional connection between the horse and individuals involved in therapy with it. EAP often develops the following characteristics within teens

  • Leadership development
  • Team-building
  • Communication
  • Problem solving
  • Organizational change
  • Decision making

EAL is similar to EAP, in that is involves using horses. EAL and EAP are often interchanged, but EAL deals more with the horsemanship aspect of Equine therapy. EAL is the process, while EAP is the actual program.

EAL and EAP are often used for teens who are experiencing the following:

  • Personal issues
  • Focus problems and Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Social anxiety or shyness
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Anger and acting out
  • Grief and loss
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Substance abuse recovery
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Stress
  • Burnout