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Published on January 11, 2016

Bryan Independence Center and Stable Outlook Partner for Recovery Care

Local Equine Assisted Learning Program to Provide 12-Step Recovery-Based Services to Residential Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center Clients

Bryan Independence Center and Stable Outlook are pleased to announce a new partnership that will provide Equine Facilitated Recovery services to residential drug and alcohol treatment clients at Bryan Independence Center.

“We have been aware of equine assisted therapy partnering with other substance abuse programs elsewhere in the country,” said Kimberley Mundil, clinical director at Bryan Independence Center, “and when we attended a demonstration at Stable Outlook, we were excited to find a way for our clients to partner with the horses.”

Equine assisted programs offer “experiential learning” according to Emily Shultz, founder and director of Stable Outlook. “Programs have been around since the 90s,” she said, “and people are finding that the horses are powerful in teaching us to be more present and aware.”

One of the programs provided by Stable Outlook is the WHOA! program.

“WHOA is an acronym for With Horses, Overcoming Addiction and is a 12-step based program where we work with horses or donkeys or ponies in the arena to process through recovery issues in a new way,” Shultz said.

The equine assisted programs often includes working with horses to move them through paths or obstacles, but can also be as simple as brushing the horses and being with them.

“There are a couple of recent studies that have been really great. In one of them, horses were shown to reduce stress cortisol levels in at-risk youth. In another, elderly people with dementia were shown to have elevated mood and a decrease in ‘behaviors’ after being with horses,” Shultz said.

Shultz said she had become aware of equine assisted programs in 2009 when she saw a video of Monty Roberts’ “Horse Sense for Soldiers” program.

“When you see these veterans with PTSD experience a moment where their anxiety level drops and their sense of peace and calm and trust opens up, it’s pretty amazing. I knew how powerful horses were for me, and when I learned about equine therapy I knew it was something I wanted to do.”

Shultz received her certification from the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) in 2014 and started Stable Outlook in 2015.

Stable Outlook, LLC is a provider of Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) and Equine Facilitated Recovery (EFR) services in Lincoln, Neb. Utilizing a team consisting of a mental health provider, an equine specialist and an equine partner (or partners), EAL creates a setting for “experiential learning” for clients and groups. For more information, visit our website at www.stableoutlook.com.

Bryan Independence Center provides alcohol and drug treatment services for youth and adults, offering levels of care to meet each client’s needs. For more information, visit www.bryanhealth.org/Bryan-Independence-Center.

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