Sexual assault comes in many forms: childhood abuse, domestic violence, rape, trafficking, and more. These traumatic events ravage body, mind, and soul, creating waves of pain and mistrust in possibly every area of life. Your trauma was not your fault – your healing is your responsibility – but you do not have to heal alone. Our caring and compassionate counselors can walk alongside you as you journey through healing, no matter if you are new to the journey, have tried other things that haven’t helped, or are working through it and want a new perspective.
Each session includes interactive activities with the horses, and honest discussion based on topics such as identity, faith, triggers, anxiety, depression, trauma’s effect on the body mind and soul, relationships, trusting self and others, and self-worth. Women will get to learn and practice proven tools such as: coping skills and self-regulation, boundaries that empower, self-care plans, challenging negative self-talk and thought processes, assertive communication, and healthy relationship skills. Horses make incredible teachers, listeners, and partners through the hard work of healing and growing. Women will experience encouragement and support from Take Heart staff as well as other group members. Therapy can be an amazing experience; we believe you can learn, grow, and heal while having fun! No horse experience is necessary. Most of our horse activities will be on the ground, although depending on the group, we may do some riding.
To provide the best learning experience possible for each participant, we want to select a cohesive group of women. Who is the best fit for this group? Women ages 18+ who have experienced any kind of sexual assault, recently or long ago. You may or may not be already working with a therapist, although we recommend that you tell your therapist about this group. If you have an official diagnosis, we ask you to disclose this with us so that we can best understand how to help. Women who struggle with extreme impulsivity, explosive anger, or violence will not be accepted into the group, but may contact Take Heart about individual therapy services. Women with intellectual or physical disabilities or who are on the autism spectrum, or who require special services, are not a fit for this group, but may contact Take Heart about individual or other group therapy services. This group is limited to no more than 10 participants under supervision of 2 or 3 Take Heart staff members, to ensure individualized attention. Groups are facilitated by a licensed professional counselor and/or master’s-level therapist and other Take Heart staff – all with backgrounds in mental health and experience in equine assisted therapy. While most activities will be on the ground, please note that if we do any riding, our horses’ weight limit is 200lbs.
Clients can come prepared for group by wearing long pants and sturdy boots or sneakers. Clothes and shoes that can get muddy are best. They may bring a water bottle or small snack if needed; we do have candy or small snacks occasionally. Please alert staff of any allergies. Please note, we do not have childcare or an indoor waiting area for family members; any family members along will have to wait in the car or may drop you off and pick you up after group.