Why We Think Carl Rogers Would Have Loved Horses.
So first off, who the heck is Carl Rogers?? Rogers [ 1902-1987] is one of history’s most celebrated psychologists. He Is the founder of humanistic/ person centred therapy, which is widely used today and informs most therapeutic thinking and implementation in some way. Rogers’ approach was based on 3 basic conditions- the use of empathy, which involves sharing another’s feelings congruence to the client based on a spirit of genuine expression , and a sense of unconditional regard for the client based on acceptance of the other at face value.
Rogers himself said -“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” The concept of acceptance runs strongly in Rogers’ work- and he focuses his energy on helping people to realise who they are, not on who they think others want them to be.
We believe that the horses are great facilitators of this process. As accepting, non-judgemental beings they don’t care who you are or about your background. They only care about how you are with them, in the moment, right now. Rogers believed that for people to self-actualize – they must be at one with themselves- true to who they are and not living some artificial construct. We know that for some people, life’s pressures can suppress this inner drive to self- actualize. These pressures can then fuel an inner drive to both ‘hide’ oneself and withdraw.
Horses help us to live our life through both positive and negative experiences. They help us to trust our feelings, express our emotions, and behave in creative, playful ways that connect us to who we truly are. They foster existential living where we learn to live in the moment rather than constantly looking back in anger or forward in fear. Now we don’t know if Carl Rogers would be pleased to see his work aligned to equine assisted learning but to be honest, we doubt he would say “Neigh” :]
For more information on equine therapy please call Annie on 0411 549562 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org