We work with many clients living with ADHD. Most, though not all of them, are on or have been on medication. Most of them, though I know this is not the norm, are also receiving some type of psychotherapy, maybe both family (to help the family deal with the issues ADHD introduces) and individual counselling. As a matter of fact, this is a requirement for our Medicaid clients. They must be seeing a licensed therapist on a regular basis to be considered for the *Psychosocial Rehabilitation services we provide. For Medicaid clients our services are in addition to, not instead of, the services provided by a licensed therapist.
However, I am not at all surprised by the findings of a RAND Corporation study that shows that only “About one quarter of commercially-insured children who are treated with medication for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder also receive psychotherapy, and the percentage is far lower in many parts of the country”.
To be honest, most insurance coverage for mental health issues is limited to begin with and add to this (as noted in the study) limited community resources, especially those aimed at children and adolescents, and it just becomes ‘less complicated’ to simply get a prescription from the child’s MD.
I admit to being torn about this. I do believe that we over-medicate while not fully utilizing other options. However, though I’m sure that there are times when a child or teen finds the perfect therapist and great strides are made, my gut feeling is that, more often than not, young clients lack the personal insights and awareness that allow them to recognize, let alone express, how they feel about what is going on in their lives, so little may be accomplished by traditional talk therapy for kids and teens.
This is where are services come in. Through a hands on approach, clients are able to see how their impulsive behaviors effect their horse. It worries them! Clients are encouraged to be mindful of this so that they are able to work with the horse. They learn and practice a variety of tasks need to groom, tack-up and ride the horse. Our clients learn that the sooner they are able to get the grooming and tack-up completed, the more time they will have to ride. Once mounted they discover that being in a hurry or getting frustrated with the horse, does not get them what they want. They have to take their time and problem solve. All of this is accomplished through working with the horses. Unfortunately, in our experience, PSR is NOT something covered by ‘commercial insurance’.
The bottom line is that there are options for the treatment of ADHD and medications are only one of them. You have to make the decision about what is best for your child/teen and you can only do that by knowing what services are available. If you think that Equine Assisted PSR might be helpful, we would be happy to meet with you to discuss our program. Call or email to schedule a visit. We will show you around, introduce you to our wonderful horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.