How Does EAP/L Work?... demistifying the model
EAP/L adopts a solution-orientated approach believing that the client knows what answers are best for them (EAGALA, 2009). Horses are used as co-facilitators to help the client understand more about themselves and their current life issues, the MH and ES predominately observe the actions and reactions of the horse, as well as the client’s responses and behaviours during activities.
During the EAP/L session the treatment team will ask the client/s to participate in an activity using horses and props (such as poles, traffic cones, barrels, food and flags), designed to create metaphors to real life situations, the type of activity will depend on the desired outcome, for example a group of employees from the same company may want to work together more harmoniously, in this case they may be asked to build their office in the arena with the props provided.
The treatment team may provide instructions or they may ask the client to come up with an activity based on their history or the desired learning outcome. There is no right or wrong way to participate in the activities, rather an opportunity for the participant to explore emotions and behaviours, and increase self awareness and understanding.
The amount of verbal interaction from the facilitators is dictated by the progression and outcomes of the session. The treatment team may ask the client/s questions to help initiate the process and encourage metaphors for experiences in the client’s life. This can allow many feelings, emotions and issues to surface giving the client valuable information to help them find answers to their current life situations or issues.
Photography: Louise Campbell and Meegan McSpedden