Equine Assisted Psychotherapy – what is it and how does it work?


What is Equine Assisted Psychotherapy?

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) has become an increasingly popular treatment wherein the patient interacts with horses in a variety of activities; grooming, feeding, walking, in order to improve their psychological health. It is a hands-on form of psychotherapy where the emphasis is on doing not talking. The child or young person is able to process and discuss feelings, behaviours and patterns by participating in grounded activities with horses. Each EAP session will be a unique experience and can be conducted even by those who have no experience with horses.

How does Equine Assisted Psychotherapy work?

EAP has been found to address a variety of issues relevant to children and young people who have suffered trauma, including behavioural problems, attention deficit disorder (ADD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, relationship problems and communication difficulties. EAP can provide insight for observation and growth – a client’s reaction to a horse’s behaviour can give their therapist an understanding of how they interact with people. It is considered short-term therapy due to its intensity and effectiveness.

The Wishing Well foundation

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families. The Wishing Well recognises the importance of the act of giving. We recognise the significance of the participation of community members and all donations are most appreciated.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment.

Support the Wishing Well

The Wishing Well uses its funds to help children in need access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments including equine assisted psychotherapy. The Wishing Well takes referrals for any child/young person in out-of-home care in NSW.  Applications are assessed by qualified personnel and on a case-by-case basis.  The decision to fund an application is affected by the following:

  • Funding availability
  • The support the child/young person has to access the proposed therapies
  • The capacity and willingness of the Carer Household to support the child/young person
  • Assessment, which recommends and supports the proposed therapy as relevant to meeting the particular needs of the child/young person


The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Money donated to The Wishing Well enables traumatised children access to healing therapies. Please see our website for more information:


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