From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Monday, January 7, 2013

Relationship trouble? Tell 'Mr. Ed'

Eye of a Horse (Photo by Waugsberg)
Although we've all repeatedly heard that "no one can talk to a horse of course… unless the horse is the famous Mr. Ed." – the Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) therapists of Relationship Ranch beg to differ.  They say that horses in general are "exquisitely sensitive" to the point of determining "what a couple is actually, really feeling."

According to ABC News, this sensitivity can help "feuding couples make peace."  That is why Nightline recently featured a three-part insider's look at the EFP process.  This series focused upon the "last-ditch effort" of Justin and Lyz "to save their [nine-year] crumbling relationship."

When the couple was first introduced to the ranch's herd of horses, Justin was "magnetically drawn to a horse named Danny.  Danny had come to the ranch "after surviving a grizzly bear attack," which apparently resonated with Justin's own traumatic past.   (At the tender age of nine, Justin had been privy to his sister's horrific murder scene.)

EFP therapist Nancy Hamilton (a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Professional Association of
Therapeutic Horsemanship instructor who has also appeared on PBS Frontline, Dr. Phil and NBC Dateline) instructed Justin "to talk to Danny about what had happened when his sister was killed."  Although this seemed "so stupid at first" to Justin, he was motivated to do whatever might save his relationship with Lyz.  Lyz, in turn, reported that she never saw Justin as vulnerable as when he was talking to Danny.

Relationship Ranch (not a place, but a treatment approach) also draws upon the Imago Therapy
technique that was developed by Harville Hendrix.  When asked whether horses can help with counseling, the website response was a resounding "YES, YES, YES!"


Copyright January 7, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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