There has recently been a lot more press about teen depression. From the thought-provoking series ’13 Series,’ to more coverage in the news about teen suicide, we are becoming more aware and understandably more concerned about teen depression.
The Washington Post article talks about a new study that reveals that up to on-third of teenage girls experience some level of depression by the time they reached the age of 17. They go on to explain that this is of concern “because of the close link between depressive episodes and serious issues with school, relationships and suicide.”
Teenagers can be prickly! They are biologically programmed to start becoming more independent and to start pushing away from their parents. However, they are often not comfortable with this knew role and may really crave the security and comfort they experienced when they were younger. Parents try to respect a teens privacy and yet, they may see or hear things that worry them. It can become very complicated and difficult with anger, resentment and a breakdown in communication. Trying to find a way to reach them can be challenging as they can be resistant to anything a parent suggests.
The lure of horse may offer an answer. Most teens and frankly, most especially girls, are intrigued by horses. They are big and powerful, yet can be very affectionate and gentle, not to mention that they are extremely beautiful. When offered the opportunity to work with horses, even when introduced as a therapeutic intervention, most girls are willing to at least give it a try. Working with a Qualified Mental Health Associate (QMHA) and the horse they choose, clients may work on building self confidence, improving communication skills, developing problem solving and coping skills, among other things! Because the situation is non-confrontational and non-judgemental teens often relax and open up. They become more willing to consider things from a new and different perspective, especially if what they learn helps them relate and interact with their horse more effectively and these lessons can transfer across environments.
If you have a teen (girl or boy) that you know who is struggling and you are having trouble reaching them, work with horses may be helpful. We are happy to set up an appointment for you and your teen to come out and visit the ranch. We will show you around, introduce the horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help. Call or email to make schedule an appointment.