”In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed. I had to go out into the world and se it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be […] Attention is the beginning of devotion. […]" Adults can change their circumstances; children cannot. Children are powerless, and in difficult situations they are the victims of every sorrow and mischance and rage around them, for children feel all of these tings but without any of the ability that adults have to change them. Whatever can take a child beyond such circumstances, therefore, is an alleviation and a blessing.
"I quickly found for myself two such blessings – the natural world, and the world of writing: literature. These were the gates through which I vanished from a difficult place”. (Mary Oliver in “Upstream”)
I too disappeared through these gates. Nature and Books – where also my “sanity saviors” – and my imagination, my fantasy, that I put into both those worlds, to make them come alive. They still are my friends, Nature and Books – and my imagination – my ability to fantasize.
One of the explanations I often hear in EAP, as to why we have horses in the treatment – is that it is easier for many people to relate to – to build a relationship with a horse (or a dog, or any other therapy animal). In my own experience as a client, that is true, and not…
And even if it is – this topic too, is very complex. So here I am merely sharing some of my thoughts on it.
Yes, a horse can be perceived as less judgmental and more honest, than a human. And you can touch, pet, hug, smell etc. a horse in a way you would never get away with, with a human (this is a deliberate way of expressing it, I am not saying all clients are emotional invasive towards therapy animals – but many come with very big unmet emotional needs of closeness, warmth, affection etc.).