Matthew Cohen, MSW

Matthew Cohen, MSW

Social Justice Solutions | Staff Writer
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Horses Becoming Social Workers In The U.K….It’s About Time

In these dark days it is sometimes a good idea to take our mind off the negative, what better way than discussing animals and therapy. In this case Equine (Horses) Assisted Therapy is gaining traction in the United Kingdom. Originally developed in the United States, EAT has made that large leap across the pond and is being used to treat patient with symptoms of  PTSD, youth offenders, and especially victims of domestic violence.

“For a woman who has been a victim of domestic violence, getting the horse to run around her in a circle, may seem simple, but it’s a very powerful thing,” Delaney, also clinical director at the Bayberry Clinic in Oxfordshire, in south east England, said.

Animal therapies are not limited to horses, my favorite is almighty goldfish. It’s might be  hard to quantify how a swimming fish could help your mental health, but I have long loved goldfish and do not need much convincing. Quantification is actually the biggest criticism for these therapies; they simply have no been studied much. After 2.5 years of having Evidence Based Practice drilled into my skull, it’s not an easy thing to overlook. I’m sure this will be remedied by the more adventurous, and animal loving, social work types. Still, this makes me wonder; If the horse is doing all the work, why is the human getting paid? Come to think of it, shouldn’t it be called “Human Assisted Therapy”?

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