Equine-Assisted Therapy for Anxiety and Trauma
Are you stuck? Are you struggling with a brain that’s always racing? Is your body stuck in a perpetual fight/flight/freeze/fawn response that makes life scary and exhausting? Are you done with in office therapy and looking a new way to get your life back from anxiety, panic or trauma?Meet Ginger. An out-of-the-box therapist who uses equine-assisted therapy to heal anxiety and trauma.
Ginger partners with Serenity Oaks Equine Sanctuary (https://serenityoaksequinesanctuary.com) to provide healing experiences with horses. Blending Flash EMDR, Brainspotting, mindfulness and Polyvagal skills, the horse serves as a great partner to jumpstart healing.
Ginger’s approach includes a broad spectrum of therapeutic methods, such as equine-assisted therapy for anxiety and trauma, mindfulness techniques, the Safe and Sound Protocol, and vagus nerve stimulation technology. In every session, the emphasis is on actively regulating not only your breathing but also your thoughts and body, all while participating in tasks alongside a horse. These sessions equip you with practical skills that you can actively apply to your daily life. While riding is not part of the experience, you’ll have an amazing opportunity to actively forge a deep connection with your newfound furry friend.
Feeling curious about Equine-Facilitated Therapy for anxiety or trauma? Don’t hesitate to give us a call and get yourself added to our spring 2024 waitlist.
In 2005, on a quest to challenge her own anxietie, Ginger traveled to Thailand. She lived with monks, worked in farming villages, and discovered her passion for helping. Returning to the United States, she pursued her master’s in social work. It was important for Ginger to bring what she learned abroad back to those that may not have the option or desire to uproot everything and travel across the globe in order to make those changes happen.
Ginger has committed her career to working with local non-profits and has acquired specialized training in addressing depression, anxiety, substance use, and insomnia. Furthermore, she holds certification as an Advanced Addiction and Drug Counselor and has received training in Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) and the Heal Model of Equine-Assisted Therapy.
Approaches to Healing
Ginger’s inspiring creativity and holistic perspective were the driving forces behind her establishment of Bright Spot Therapy. Within this setting, she actively puts her vision into practice, aiming to unite all aspects of mental health treatment and provide clients with a comprehensive approach. Ginger’s qualities, including her remarkable compassion, honesty, wit, and profound insight, collectively foster an environment where clients truly feel supported, accepted, and genuinely understood.
Additionally, Ginger is also the owner of The Therapist Collective, a local business to support and empower therapists to live their best lives.
Why Did I Become a Therapist?
I stumbled into this whole therapy thing by accident, believe it or not. It’s funny because I never really planned on becoming a therapist. But, you know, life has a way of surprising you. I had some truly fantastic supervisors who saw potential in me that I hadn’t even noticed myself. It was their guidance, along with the support of my peers, that bestowed upon me the most incredible gift.
I can’t help but feel incredibly grateful for the path I’ve found myself on as a therapist. Being able to hold space for such amazing individuals on their unique journeys is something I cherish every single day.
What do you do as a human to manage stress or anxiety?
My favorite way to reduce stress is to volunteer at a local horse sanctuary. Horses are naturally grounding and help you regulate your breathing and your heart rate. The pace of life is slow and predictable at the barn so it’s a great way really be in the moment.
I also love puzzles, hot yoga, reading and hanging out with with my three kiddos.
What are you working on as a therapist?
I’ve recently wrapped up training in Equine-Assisted Therapy, specifically designed to address anxiety, trauma, and depression. I’m genuinely excited about the opportunity to blend Heart Math, Polyvagal skills, and the wonderful world of horses to facilitate healing for those who may have encountered challenges with traditional talk therapy, meditation, or self-regulation methods. Engaging in Equine-Facilitated therapy is an absolute delight, both as a therapist and as a client. It’s an experience that I find not only enjoyable but also deeply meaningful. In fact, I can’t help but feel like I witness something truly magical during every session.
What are your favorite books?
- Good Morning, Monster by Catherine Gildinier
- One by One by Frieda McFadden (It’s totally quick and like Dateline but a fun distraction!)
- The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
- Sacred Spaces by Dr. Susan Faye
- My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem
- A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Conner
- Bodies in Motion and At Rest by Thomas Lynch
What are your favorite podcasts?
- Yoga is Dead (Favorite Episode: White Women Killed Yoga)
- The Official Challenge Podcast (I know….. I’m a sucker for a throwback…)
- Liar, Liar: The Melissa Cadick Story
- The Skillful Podcast
Looking for More Resources on Anxiety and Equine-Assisted Therapy?
-What is Equine-Assisted Therapy and Can It Help Me Treat Anxiety? – https://brightspottherapy.com/what-is-equine-therapy-and-how-can-it-help-me-treat-anxiety-depression-and-trauma/
-What Is It About Horses, Healing and Trauma? – https://polyvagalequineinstitute.com/product/what-is-it-about-horses-healing-and-trauma/