Have you ever heard a story that gave you goosebumps?
Have you ever struggled to make sense of something?
Have you ever found a cause you felt called to support?
I recently found a place where all three of these things happened. I heard stories that were the most fascinating I’d ever heard. A place where things happen that I can not wrap my head around, but my heart is filled with hope because of them. A place that does work I feel compelled to lend my gifts to. My introduction to this place left me inspired and I’m thrilled to share it now with you.
One of my passions is to share stories that offer hope because I think we all need good doses of it. I’m especially intrigued by people who’ve lost themselves in some way and found their way back to living fully. I was immediately captivated by the work being done at Acres for Life. The stories the staff shared with me were unforgettable. I’m thrilled to have partnered with them to share their stories. All future stories will link back to this post to offer an explanation of the program.
Acres for Life is a facility with two locations in Minnesota. In simple terms, they offer horse therapy. Their services follow the EAGALA model, which stands for Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association and is the global standard for equine assisted psychotherapy and personal development. Therapy sessions have a team approach with a credentialed mental health professional, a certified equine specialist, and horse(s) working together with the client.
Who is this therapy for?
Anyone struggling with a transition, addiction, PTSD, depression, grief and loss, eating disorders, anxiety, communication issues, attention deficit disorders, autism spectrum disorder, emotional and behavioral issues, and relationship challenges.
Horses are large and highly sensitive animals. Their size makes them impossible to ignore. Their interaction is non-judgemental and immediate.
How does is work?
This is the part that fascinates me to no end. The sessions can’t be scripted or predicted. The horses will do want they want to do, yet somehow they seem to know what the clients need. The horses become almost like actors in a play written by the client’s past. The clients are able to project their problems, their hurts, their needs, and their emotions onto the horses. It sounds nonsensical, but it is truly magic. There is no doubt in my mind that there is divine intervention taking place.
The therapy is experiential and since most of us learn best by doing it helps this form of therapy to be highly effective in less time than traditional talk therapy. The equine specialists and therapists that work at Acres for Life have a front row seat to witness transformations happening each and every day.
There are times in life when I hear something horrific and I struggle to make sense of it. In time I accept that I can’t make sense of it because it defies logic. There is evil in the world and bad things happen we can’t wrap our heads around, nor should we be able to. There are also times when something so good happens we just can’t believe such an amazing thing is possible. If you’ve held a newborn baby you know the feeling I mean. The depth of the goodness is completely overwhelming. We can’t explain either extreme. What I felt after hearing the stories from Acres for Life reminded me that not all things can be explained and that is perfectly fine.
The track record for EAGALA proves that it works. It changes people’s lives. It saves lives and families. It is beautiful and miraculous.
I’m not sure my words will do justice to these stories but I’m privileged to try.
Acres for Life is a non-profit that offers services covered by most typical insurance. However, many veterans and first responders are hesitant to seek treatment for PTSD or other mental health challenges because they are apprehensive about that going on their record. Such clients are welcomed here and their treatment costs are covered through donations. If you would like to support this facility and the amazing work they perform click here. Thank you.