“Knowing Me, Knowing You”
Our Equine Assisted Social Skills group, “Knowing me, knowing you”, is aimed at building a stronger sense of ‘self’ in your child, which in turn encourages increased social confidence with others.
Along the way, your child will experience ways to regulate their bodies and emotions through attunement with the horses, then apply those experiences with peer interactions in coordinated activities.
Each child’s experience will be unique to them- this is what finding the ‘self’ is all about!
Why group therapy?
Therapy groups are a great way to practice skills learned in one-on-one sessions in a supportive, safe and fun group setting. Kids Compass groups are carefully hand-picked to match children based on their ages, goals, needs and areas of challenge. Group sizes vary from two children with one therapist, to small groups with up to 6 children and 2 therapists + Assistant.
Group therapies allow therapists to identify and focus on key areas of challenge and strength within a social setting that we may not otherwise have an opportunity to observe.
Some of the skills we coach in our groups include:
- Self-esteem and social confidence
- Prosocial skills (e.g. using appropriate language, mannerisms, and gestures)
- Making and keeping meaningful friendships
- Attention and concentration
- Awareness of ‘self’ and ‘others’
- Increasing awareness of emotions and feelings in ‘self’ and ‘others’
- Group participation and turn taking
- Negotiating and regulating in different social situations
- Executive functioning (e.g. Following directions, problem solving and reasoning)
- Sensory and motor skills
… and so much more!
Healthy horses live in a state of being relaxed and aware of their surroundings- similar to the felt-sense of being in a meditative state.
Horses are herd animals that value safety above many other things, including food and water. They are natural co-regulators that actively regulate each other to achieve herd safety. If a member of the herd is dysregulated, the whole herd will be vulnerable to prey.
When this occurs, the horses change the rhythm of their breath, which influences their heart rate- creating an energy resonance that influences the breath and heart rate of the dysregulated horse back into a regulated state.
When we become present and spend time in proximity with these horses, we become a part of their herd and our body’s rhythm synchronises with the horses.
Children have immature and developing nervous systems that rely heavily from resonance in their caregivers and environment though attunement and attachment. Sometimes children are ‘wired’ in a way (e.g. ASD/developmental/sensory challenges) or have experienced intense stress (ie: trauma) that impact their ability to effectively receive attunement and co-regulation in everyday interactions.
The stronger ‘energy field’ emitted by the horses provides children with the opportunity to develop receptivity to co-regulation and experience a regulated state, enabling functional development of other skills.
How do I enrol my child in a group?
If you are interested in groups or your therapist has recommended you consider a group for your child, please complete an Expression of Interest form available at reception, or give us a call to discuss further. If you are new to our practice, you will meet with a therapist first to set goals and decide which group is best suited to your child.
Please call our clinic for details and to discuss funding/rebate options.
The program will take place at the beautiful Heart to Horse location in Healesville.