Office Hours:

8:00 am to 7:00 pm (M-Th)

Office Number:

(804) 556-1249

Online Therapy (Virginia)

EAP is a form of experiential therapy that integrates horses into mental health counseling sessions. Some places use a triad model consisting of two people (a licensed mental health professional and an equine specialist) and the client during their EAP sessions. At Heaven’s Rays Ministries, there will only be one professional present during the session.

EAP sessions will look different each session but will consist of on-the-ground activities with a horse. This can look like problem-solving, observing horse behavior and reflecting on your own behavior, having less pressure of just “talking” but feeling freer to express your emotions with the horse as a source of support, building a relationship and trust with a horse, processing any emotions and thoughts that arise during the session, leading a horse around the farm while talking to the therapist, learning basic horsemanship skills, grooming, using props, and/or just spending time in the pasture with the horses, all while focusing on your counseling goals and needs.

Horses have an honest way of showing us how we are feeling due to their remarkable ability to mirror our emotions. By working through your anxiety and being more aware of your body language, you are helping the horse to work through their anxiety and feel safe and calm. 

They also have a way of challenging us and our expectations, confronting our insecurities and fears, and forcing us to work through frustrations that arise.  

Horses are prey animals, and we are predators, so it is not natural for them to want to be near us, let alone trust us. There is something very rewarding that happens when you can form a relationship of mutual trust and safety with a horse, and when they enjoy being in your presence as much as you enjoy being with them! This can help develop confidence and self-esteem, and there is something very therapeutic that comes from being accepted and loved by a horse!