Animal-assisted therapy is an approach that can be beneficial for individuals who have experienced trauma. Often, people may think of dogs in therapy, but there are opportunities to use horses, also known as hippotherapy or equine therapy. Therapeutic Horsemanship was founded in 1975 and has since changed its name to TREE House of Greater St. Louis. TREE is an acronym for Therapy, Recreation, Education, Exploration. Located on 90 acres of property in St. Charles County, the agency is heavily supported by volunteers who assist in walking with the horses during therapy sessions. TREE House offers a number of services under the direction of certified therapists and occupational, physical, and speech/language therapists. A variety of concerns can be addressed, including anxiety, depression, improving relational skills, and building resiliency as well as self-esteem.
There are numerous avenues for services to be covered, including Medicaid, the Department of Mental Health, or private insurance. Check out their website for the full list of services provided or call 636.332.4940. They currently have a waiting list, but it is important that you sign up to be notified when openings become available.