Project HORSES

This 3-year study – funded by the Ware Foundation (AWD000000006488)– represents a university-community partnership among FIU-CBRI, Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Family Therapy Program, and Stable Place, Inc., a non‐profit community organization.  Project HORSES is offering Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) as an additional treatment for South Florida foster youth in residential treatment programs – the SOS Children’s Village and His House. EFP is a solution-oriented approach to therapy in which horses are used as partners in a therapeutic context to promote change. Using a mixed-methods longitudinal design, we have been studying the impact of participation in EFP on the participant’s quality of life, specifically self‐confidence, self-efficacy, mindfulness, and interpersonal relations, as well as on the reduction of symptoms related to trauma, anxiety, and depression1,2. The specific clinical training model uses a number of Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA)‐based activities and other standard equine facilitated activities. Furthermore, the clinical processing of those activities is combined with systemic, brief therapy traditions3,4,which was developed by Dr. Green at NSU.


Principal Investigator: Michelle Hospital, Ph.D.

Co-Investigators: Eric Wagner, Ph.D., Staci Leon Morris, Psy.D., & Shelley Green, Ph.D. (Nova Southeastern University)

News Articles:

References to scientific background

  • 1 Trotter, K.S. (Ed.). (2012).Harnessing the power of equine assisted counseling: Adding animal assisted therapy to your practice. Taylor & Francis.
  • 2 Faa-Thompson, T. (2012). Sexually abused clients to value their bodies and themselves. Harnessing the Power of Equine Assisted Counseling: Adding Animal Assisted Therapy to Your Practice, 53.
  • 3 Green, S. (in press). Equine facilitated psychotherapy: Partnering with horses to provide mental health services. Horse Industry Handbook. American Youth Horse Council.
  • 4 Cade, B., & O’Hanlon, W.H. (1993). A brief guide to brief therapy. WW Norton & Co.

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