Over the past decade, over half a million war veterans have come home to America and are unable to regain a normal and happy life. This is on top of the still suffering veterans from former conflicts. The horrors of war have deeply affected them, and they become withdrawn and depressed. Many will live in poverty, become homeless and isolated from the society they protected. Alarmingly, many will become incarcerated and a higher percentage of veterans will take their own life.
Combat related psychological issues are very complicated. The causes are multifaceted, and many evidenced-based treatments may not be effective. Further, many civilian clinicians do not understand the complexity of combat related psychological disorders and the military culture and further may not possess the knowledge and skill to treat a suffering combat veteran effectively.
Mountain Lake Center specializes in research and practice about Equine Facilitation as a psychotheraputic modality for Veterans suffering with reintegration and combat related mental health Issues.
The Mountain Lake Center collaborative team uses equine assisted learning and psychotherapy to facilitate lifelong positive change for our suffering veterans. Veterans can engage in individual sessions, group sessions, and multi-day retreats and challenge adventure pack trips. All veteran sessions, retreats and challenge vacations are conducted by facilitators who are knowledgeable and experienced in working with veterans and their specific needs.
Individual Sessions: Individual Equine Assisted Learning & Psychotherapy sessions are available to all interested veterans. Individual sessions are typically 1 to 1.5 hours in duration.
Weekend Retreats: Retreats are either a one-day or a two-day program. These intensive retreats focus on reintegration issues, depression, anxiety, substance misuse and mild to moderate PSTD.
Month Retreat: This is a four-week program for veterans with reintegration issues, depression, anxiety, substance misuse and mild to moderate PSTD. During the four-week program, the individuals will live at the hosting farm and take part in our innovative Equine Assisted Learning & Psychotherapy program created especially for war veterans and slaughter bound horses. By rescuing slaughter bound horses and rehabilitating them using Equine Assisted Therapy… Both the veteran and the horse heal together and get a second shot at a healthy and happy life.
A team of trained professionals help guide veterans during each step of the training and healing process. Through the work with horses, and guided by expert facilitators, veterans are able to strengthen their own personal resiliency and learn about how to effectively deal with dis-empowering emotions and thoughts. While working with the horses, circumstances arise that shed light on the underlying issues that foster negative behavioral patterns and that are roadblocks to the healing process. The facilitators use these situations to enlighten the veteran to their behavioral responses and the mind-set that triggers it. Through a process that incorporates personal introspection, group talks and private therapy sessions, the veteran is asked to travel deep into their own pathology, and with their therapist, find the bridge that leads to the path of recovery.
Each horse training evolution, from selecting auction horses to training to placing the horse in forever homes, is a therapeutic session overseen by the therapist and the therapeutic team and is in line with the short and long-term treatment goals of the individual. While at the facility, participating individuals also are required to help with all the daily barn and home chores, including mucking stalls and fixing fences to laundry, cooking and cleaning. All meals are included and prepared by our executive chef.
Challenge Vacation: Spend a week on the trail living in nature. Our exciting horse and donkey pack trips are specifically designed to be fun, adventurous, challenging, and therapeutic! Visit places like the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Prescott National Forest, and even the Inca Trail in Peru. These journeys are life changing as facilitators and participants work closely together to address challenging situations and adverse life issues while also meeting the challenges of the trail.