Counseling Services at Reins of Life
Reins of Life offers a treatment modality called Equine Assisted Psychotherapy which is an experiential form of therapy where horses are involved in the sessions. “Experiential” means that you will be involved in hands-on experiences with the horses designed to reflect things going on in your life. The process is not always about interacting with the treatment team, although that will happen at times, but is about providing you the opportunity to experience, explore, problem-solve, discover, be creative, gain insight and experience practical applications of what you are learning in the moment. The process is about “doing” along with the “talking.”
There are several reasons we choose to use horses in this work, but primarily it is due to their nature as a social and prey animal. Because of their nature, they have an extraordinary ability to read our nonverbal communication – our body language – and pick up on messages we are sending which we are not always conscious we are doing. With this, they start responding to us in familiar ways, reminding us of other people and things in our life. It is through this that horses become metaphors (symbols) providing us the opportunity to work on ourselves in relation to those aspects of our lives.
Horses do not know our past, education, gender, race or other labels we may apply to ourselves and each other. They are in the moment and can be a part of this relationship without the biases we humans put on each other. This provides even more value in the insight they can provide us about ourselves.
Learn More about Equine Assisted Psychotherapy in Northeast Georgia
Interested in pursuing Equine Assisted Psychotherapy? Contact Us to get in touch.
A word about our counseling team:
Amy Swails has recently graduated from Liberty University, obtaining a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling, summa cum laude, in December 2018. She graduated cum laude from the University of Tulsa with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy. She worked for several years with children with autism as an Applied Behavior Analysis tutor, volunteered to represent foster children in the court systems as a Guardian Ad Litem, and has been serving at Reins of Life in various leadership capacities since 2014. She is currently seeking licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor through the state of Georgia, and also works as a master’s-level provider at Wellsprings Psychological Resources in Franklin Springs, Georgia. Amy loves working with children, adolescents, adult women, and family units.
Cheryl Harris, along with her husband Steve, were foster and contract parents for the State of Georgia for fifteen years, serving mostly teenage girls in their home. As a result of this intensive work, Cheryl saw first-hand the shortage of quality intervention programs in this rural area. Reins of Life was born out of Cheryl's dream of combining her love for horses and her love for serving children into a program that would benefit both. Cheryl is a certified equine facilitator in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and received training from O.K. Corral.