The Pilot Program, an unmounted equine assisted therapy group, is a partnership between Lovelane and Klarman Eating Disorders Center at McLean Hospital. The weekly program will be co-led by a therapist from Klarman and an equine specialist from Lovelane, and will focus on building empathy, self-compassion, self-efficacy, and connection, with horses as the therapeutic modality and an ultimate goal of promoting resiliency and recovery from the patient’s mental health challenges.
Many eating disorder programs across the country offer equine assisted therapy due to the growing body of evidence which indicates its numerous mental health benefits. There is mounting research to suggest that equine assisted interventions are beneficial in the treatment of a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse disorders, and eating disorders. The youth treated at Klarman not only struggle with their eating disorder, but also many of these co-morbid conditions.
A successful year-long pilot program and partnership between Lovelane and Klarman will provide growth and expansion in Lovelane’s ability to serve the community, will help Lovelane build on the ability to serve students facing mental health issues, and create a new community partner. This will continue to make Lovelane more attractive to future applicants and increase the range of diagnoses we are able to serve.