When Does ‘Anxiety’ Become a Problem?

We all have things that stress us out. We have a big meeting in the morning, worry about over-sleeping, and are awake all night. We worry that the outfit you have on is not ‘appropriate’ and check in with others ‘do I look ok?’ We really don’t want to go to a party with your friends and get nauseous just thinking about it and the idea of facing the crowds to go shopping makes the heart race.

Hmm, well if this is a constant or growing problem, you may be experiencing a ‘Panic Disorder’. Prevention Magazine offers 7 Warning Signs that you may have a problem.

The good news is that there are very effective ways of addressing Anxiety and Panic Disorders. E. Blake Zakarin, PhD, assistant professor of medical psychology in psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center, suggests that “sleep, exercise, and healthy eating could all help ease tension, as well as social support too and sharing your frustrations and worries.”

And you know what? Work with horses can provide a lot of what may be needed! Certainly exercises and social support, as well as something not mentioned, learning and practicing self-soothing/calming exercises are all provided in Nevada Equine Assisted Therapy sessions. In a non-judgemental, yet gently challenging environment our clients learn and practice so many things!

Leading, grooming and riding are all forms of physical as well as mental exercise.

While grooming, which is a soothing and repetitive process, clients discuss with their Qualified Mental Health Associate (QMHA) what has gone on during the week and look at strategies for minimizing any issues.  Not only is the QMHA there to offer guidance and support, but the bond that most clients develop with their horse can be very comforting as well.

While doing mounted work, clients build self-confidence, practice decision making skills, are encouraged to be present and ‘in the moment’ while learning and practicing a variety of self-sooth/calming skills, all of which can help minimize anxiety!

If you or someone you knows struggles with anxiety/panic attaches, there is help available. Give us a call (775)473-5548 or send us an email: neatinfo@yahoo.com. We will schedule a time for  you to visit the ranch. We will show you around, introduce our incredible herd, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.

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PTSD Impacting Many Lives

Most people understand that those in the military who see combat are likely to struggle with the issue of PTSD and it is probably not hard to understand that firefighters and police officers may experience the same kinds of trauma. We are also beginning to recognize that PTSD can also impact those who have experienced other types of trauma, such as abusive/violent relationships or surviving extreme natural disasters. An interesting new study shows that prison employees are also showing signs of PTSD.

Science Daily reports on a study conducted by Washington State University of Nursing, that indicates that the rate of PTSD in prison employees is as high as that Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.

One of the recommendations is that those working in high stress/trauma inducing professions receive training to help build their ‘resiliency’. Here are some links that highlight how work with horses can help build/improve resiliency! In Veterans and in Marginalized Youth.

The work we do at Nevada Equine Assisted Therapy is individually focused on each client’s specific goals and objectives. From decreasing anxiety and stress to improving self-soothing and calming skills, we can absolutely work on improving resiliency!

If you or someone you know are struggling with anxiety, stress, PTSD or any other issue that is negatively impacting your life and the lives of those you care about, call (775) 473-5548 or email us at neatinfo@yahoo.com. We will schedule a time for you to visit us. We will give you a tour of the ranch, introduce our incredible herd, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.

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We Know What We Do Makes a Difference!

As this CNN report shows, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to support the effectiveness of Equine Therapy, but for many reasons, there continues to be limited ‘research’ that establish Equine Therapy as a quality, proven intervention for those with mental health and other issues.

However, Nevada Equine Assisted Therapy provides a quality, proven intervention – Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) – with horses as part of the treatment team! In this way, we are able to provide a service that has been shown to be incredibly effective and beneficial in a new and unique way.

Equine Assisted PSR can be help with many issues, including:

  • Trust
  • Anxiety
  • Impulsivity/Lack of Focus
  • Anger Management
  • Depression
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
  • Pervasive Developmental Delays (PDD)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)

and more…

We work with clients as young as 4 years of age, teens, adults and even seniors. Our team of Qualified Mental Health Associates (QMHA) work under the supervision of a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. We partner with our clients other providers and build on the work they are doing. Our sessions are one-on-one, with the client, their QMHA and the horse the client chooses to work with, focusing on that client’s specific goals and issues.

If you or someone you know are struggling, call us or send us an email. We will arrange a tour for you. We will show you around the ranch, introduce our incredible herd, learn more about what you are dealing with, and share how we might be able to help.

 

 

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ADHD and Educational Challenges

Parents and caregivers of children living with ADHD know that life can be hard. Morning ‘routines’ need to be monitored (even though there is a chart!) to make sure that the child gets up, gets dresses, brushes their teeth, has breakfast (does not detour to pet the dog, play with legos, get on the computer, look under the bed for a toy) picks up their lunch and homework and remembers to take a jacket as they head to school.  And of course this is all before 9am!

Off to school they go and we are all to familiar with how that goes! Notes, emails and phone calls from the school keep a parent informed of just how much their child w/ADHD struggles during

the day. It is important to remember that this kiddo is not ‘misbehaving’! (ADHD) is a psychological disorder and the brain of a child/teen adult dealing with ADHD functions differently. In this NEWS Medical Life Sciences article, the author, takes a look at some of the changes, how ADHD impacts learning, ‘overlapping disorders’ and effective interventions.

One of the recommend interventions, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, could include the services we provide at Nevada Equine Assisted Therapy. Though work with horses we certainly focus on solutions and changing destructive patterns of behavior!

Clients learn and practice staying focused and on task while leading, grooming and preparing their horse to ride. They learn how impulsive behaviors can worry a horse and are encouraged to slow down, take a breath and be present and in the moment. They engage in a variety of activities both on the ground and mounted, that help them develop problem solving skills and at times frustration tolerance!  We work with children as young as four, teens and adults.

If you know a child or teen who is struggling, give us a call. We can schedule a time for you to come visit the ranch. We will show you around, introduce our incredible herd, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.

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When You Are Dealing With More Than Just ADHD

When dealing with children/teens with ADHD it never seems ‘simple’ and research is showing that, in many cases it’s because there is more going on.

This NEWS Medical Life Sciences article, takes a look at some of the things that may also be going on. With more than 60% children with ADHD reporting one or more co-existing mental health conditions, it is easy to see that this issue is much more complicated.

Mood disorders, conduct disorders and learning disabilities are all common issues that those with ADHD may also be dealing with. We need to be sure that we take a ‘whole person’ approach when addressing our client’s needs. Self-esteem and self-confidence can suffer when a child/teen feels different than their peers. They may struggle with isolation and even bullying. We need to be very vigilant to make sure they get the help they need to deal with everything they living with.

One of the great things about work with horses is that you can work on multiple concerns at once.  Let’s consider the simple act of haltering and leading a horse. Clients may have to deal with anxiety. Horses are big and powerful. They can be intimidating. So we talk about how to stay safe and we may encourage clients to do some deep breathing exercises to help them become more centered and calm. Clients will need to focus, listen, process and follow directions when haltering their horse. They may need to accept/ask for assistance. They need to continue to be focused while leading and work on setting/maintaining safe personal boundaries. And of course they have to practice being a ‘good leader’. All this, while simply haltering and leading the horse. Make sense?

At Nevada Equine Assisted Therapy our team of Qualified Mental Health Associates (QMHA) work one-on-one with children as young as 4, teens, adults and even seniors. Through work with horses, we can address a wide range of social, emotional, behavioral and mental health issues. We have a diverse herd of incredible horses who are able to help clients find the path to a happier, healthier and more balanced life.

If you or someone you know are struggling with ADHD or other issues, we are here to help. Give us a call or send us an email and we can schedule a visit. We will show you around the ranch, introduce our wonderful herd, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.

 

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How Do We Help Our Teens?

Earlier today I read and shared on our Facebook page a tragic article about a local teenager who committed suicide. The statistics are more than alarming. These young lives are far to precious for us to let them end when there are things that help. We must do better.

Here is a link to USA Today’s story on how work with horses helped pull Morgan Hubbard back from the brink.

Day in and day out, we see how powerful work with horse can be. Our team of Qualified Mental Health Associates work one-on-one with our clients and the horse they choose to work with. We currently have 8 horses in our herd, from a Dillon, our Miniature Horse, to Reilly, a 16.3hh Oldenburg, providing clients with lots of opportunity to find a horse that they can connect with. In each session we address the client’s specific needs and goals. We may be looking at increasing self-confidence or improving self-soothing/coping skills. Maybe it is about becoming better at being present and in the moment.  Maybe we need to help the client find a way to reconnect with another living ‘being’ (their horse and their QMHA) in a less stressful and demanding situation. We meet the client where they are and, through the work with their horse, try to show them the way to a healthier and happier life.

First and foremost, if you know a teen who is struggling, seek help. We are one of many resources in our community. If you would like to learn more about our program, call us at 775-473-5548 or email us at neatinfo@yahoo.com. We can schedule a time for you to visit the ranch. We will show you around, introduce our incredible herd, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.

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What Can I do Now to Help My Child/Teen Prepare For School in the Fall

During the school year life can get very hectic and we watch our kiddos struggle to get through each day. We lament that there is not more time to slow down and see what we can do to help them.

Summer is here and the time to take positive action is now! There is a growing understanding of the many benefits of Equine Therapy.

* What is Equine Therapy? by CRC Healt

* The Therapeutic Value of Horses by Psychology Today

* Equine Therapy: How Horses Help Humans Heal by USNEWS

Nevada Equine Assisted Therapy is a year-round program that provides social, emotional and behavioral growth and learning, as well as mental health interventions for children (as young as 4), teens, adults and even seniors.

Our staff of Qualified Mental Health Associates work one-on-one with each client and the horse they have chosen to work with, on that client’s specific issues such as:

  • ADHD
  • PTSD
  • Depression
  • Anxity
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Plus many more

Most of our clients come once per week and our sessions are approximately 1.5 hours long. Clients start on the ground, learning about horse and herd behavior and how to be safe working around horses. They learn to lead, groom and tack-up their horses before actually getting up and riding. Once on the horse they participate in a variety of activities designed to be fun, yet challenging in a non-confrontational way. We help clients become more self-confident, improve focus, decrease impulsive behaviors, improve problem solving skills and promote leadership, among other things.

If you have a child or teen (or are working with one) that is struggling, give us a call at 775-473-5548 or drop us and email at neatinfo@yahoo.com to schedule a visit. We will show you around, introduce our marvelous herd, learn more about the challenges your child/teen is dealing with, and share more about how we can help.

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Sometimes We Just Want to Know How to Help

When friends and loved ones are struggling with anxiety we are often at a loss as to what we can do to help. We want to be there for them, but my fear that we will say or do the wrong thing.

This great blog article by John D. Moore, Ph.D., on PsychCentral’s website offers some great tips!

The first tip is to be patient. This can be so hard, when the person may not seem to be making any sense, but in their minds the situation may be fraught with fear, so just be there. Be kind.

The article suggest that you even ask ‘What do you think might help? How can I help you?’ It may be that they need you to just sit with them, or maybe a walk in nature would help, but they will have a better idea than you will guessing.

Another tip is to seek expert help. There are many great interventions available for those struggling with anxiety and lots of referral sources. I have found this Psychology Today website helpful for finding therapists in Nevada, but there are lost of other resources available as well.

Equine Assisted Therapy can be a very powerful intervention for those dealing with anxiety. At Nevada Equine Assisted Therapy, our staff of Qualified Mental Health Associate and wonderful therapy horses work with each client on an individual basis. We start where they are. Maybe they are fearful of horses. We explain how this is actually pretty smart ‘They are big and powerful, so it is important that you learn to be safe around them. That’s why I’m here’. The act of bushing a horse can be very soothing and learning to lead them can be very empowering and boosts confidence. Besides, they are awe-inspiringly beautiful! We start on the ground and move at the client’s pace. There are no expectations, except that we address the client’s issues and that they get what they need from each session.

If you or someone you know struggles with anxiety, give us a call of send us an email. We will schedule a time for you to visit the ranch. We will show you around, introduce you our equine partners – the horses – learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.

 

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When it is NOT Just ‘Shyness’

Most of us have experienced moments of ‘shyness’ or times when we have felt challenged by a social situation. Maybe it’s a party where you don’t know many people or perhaps we are required to give an oral presentation. There may even be days where we just don’t want to go out and deal with other people. We may have been labeled as ‘shy’ or be considered an ‘introvert’. However, when our anxiety becomes a daily heart-pounding struggle, there may be more going on.

This Huffington Post article takes a look at ‘Social Anxiety,’ a mental health condition that affects approximately 15 million people, yet goes mostly untreated.  Melissa Weinberg, a therapist with the Anxiety and Stress Disorder Institute of Maryland notes this is in part due to, “Therapists may miss the diagnosis when the observable symptoms are actually reflective of another disorder”. The article provides several other reasons why this very prevalent mental health issue may go untreated, including the continuing stigma attached to mental health issues in general.

The good news is that there are things that can be done to address this condition, such as, “seek(ing) out fear-inducing situations in a controlled way” according to Dr. Patti Johnson, a psychologist in Los Angeles.

The lure of horses is very compelling for so many people and yet, fear may keep them from every experiencing the joy and healing power of working with horses. Nevada Equine Assisted Therapy can help with this! We offer a gently challenging way for our clients to address fears and anxiety. We do not have a set timeline for the work we do with our clients. It is much more about the pace that works for them. They meet the herd and are encouraged to choose a horse they would like to work with. They learn to halter, lead and groom the horse. We emphasize safety, teaching clients about horse and herd behavior – why horses do what they do – and how we can use this information to keep ourselves safe. We do a variety of ground exercises, where client has the opportunity to get to know their horse and begin to build a relationship. AND, we do mounted work, allowing clients to progress at their own pace, learning to walk, trot and even canter if they wish to do so and demonstrate the skill level to make this a safe activity.

If you or someone you know, are struggling with social anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, Depression or other mental health issues, seek help. We are here to be a part of a comprehensive treatment team. Call or email and we can schedule a time for you to visit the ranch. We will show you around, introduce our wonderful horses, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help. We are here for you!

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We Need to Offer More Support

I don’t know if it is true or not, but it certainly seems to me that we are all experiencing more difficult and traumatic incidents in our lives. These are difficult times. In my own experience, my father died when I was very young. I have been robbed at gun point. I went through a period when I could not find a job, was unable to pay all my bills and worried about where I would live if I could not pay the rent. From addiction to homelessness. From violence in our schools and in our streets to out of control weather and even volcanic eruptions. The idea of a peaceful and trauma free life just does not seem possible. For children, teens and adults, daily life has become more complicated, challenging and in many cases daunting.

The Atlantic has a moving article about how children across our country are experiencing trauma. They are, and depending on how resilient they are and the help they receive, the effects may impact the rest of their lives. The article talks about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that can be trauma inducing. The “eight ACEs (parental divorce or separation; parental death; parental incarceration; violence among adults in the home; victim or witness to neighborhood violence; living with a mentally ill adult; living with someone who has a substance abuse problem; and experiencing economic hardship often, such as the family finding it difficult to afford food and housing)” are key in determining  which children 17 and under are more likely to experience trauma.

Because there is strong evidence that, “When a parent has experienced a high number of ACEs, chances are their children will as well—often the same ones, such as depression or substance abuse,” we need to break the cycle. Pediatricians, social workers, or other professionals need to be trained and supported in identifying when children are at risk and have the resources available to help. We need to offer help and solutions when we can and support and interventions when trauma has been experienced.

We continue to talk about mental health care, but more must be done.

Through work with horses, Nevada Equine Assisted Therapy, can be powerful option for those working to deal with and recover from trauma. Horses are accepting and non-judgemental. They help us become grounded and present in the moment. They can help those who feel scattered and easily distracted to find a place of focus. They help us establish/re-establish safe personal boundaries and build our confidence in our ability to solve problems and be good leaders.

We work with children as young as 4, teens, adults and even seniors. If you or someone you know are struggling, call or email and we will schedule a time for you to visit the ranch. We will show you around, introduce you to our herd, learn more about what you are dealing with and share how we may be able to help.

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