Life can be so challenging. Growing up in this day and age is not easy. Children, teens and adults can struggle with getting through each day.
New evidence is showing that women, and especially teenage girls, are dealing with an incredible amount of stress and depression. NPR has provided an interesting look at this problem. In the report, Psychologist and author Catherine Steiner-Adair states “despite gains in employment, education and salary, women and girls are still “continually bombarded by media messages, dominant culture, humor and even political figures about how they look — no matter how smart, gifted, or passionate they are.”
As anyone who has a teenager, or works with them knows, teenagers can be resistant to all our best efforts to help them in any way. They are becoming independent and often see adult attention as interference or intrusive. This can make reaching out to them difficult.
One of the suggestions made in the NPR piece is to teach girls about ‘mindfulness’. Mindfulness is the practice of ‘bringing one’s attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment’. We are happy to share that this is an area where equine assisted therapy can be very helpful. When working with horses it is very important to stay ‘present’. We need to be able to read the sometimes subtle cues they give us about what is going on with them. Whether leading, grooming or riding, when a client is connecting with their horse, they are very present.
Additionally, work with horses can provides the opportunity to improve self confidence, develop problem solving skills, practice self-soothing and calming skills and much more.
If you suspect that a teenage girl (or anyone else!) is struggling with depression, please seek help. We are here for you. Call or email and we can schedule a visit to the ranch. We will show you around, introduce the horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and will share with you how we may be able to help.