The Ranch Treatment Center Introduces Equine-Enriched Programming for Men with Co-Occurring Disorders

Share Article

The Ranch treatment center offers enriched programming, including equine-assisted therapy, to treat addiction and mental health disorders in men.

News Image
Every day I see clients who have a hard time relating to other people, but who are able connect with a horse and learn new ways of communicating and opening up.

In January, The Ranch treatment center in Tennessee launched equine-enriched therapy as part of its comprehensive treatment program for men struggling with addiction and co-occurring mental and emotional disorders. The program is housed in a newly renovated eight-bed residence on the beautiful Piney River, called River House.

The program features two equine-assisted therapy groups each week co-facilitated by a primary therapist and equine therapist, an additional equine group every other weekend, as well as opportunities for therapeutic and recreational riding. Therapists who work in the fascinating world of equine-assisted therapy have found that interacting with and caring for horses can provide valuable lessons in accountability, responsibility, communication and relationship-building — things that are often missing in the lives of people who have been derailed by drugs, alcohol, depression, loss and trauma.

“Every day I see clients who have a hard time relating to other people, but who are able connect with a horse and learn new ways of communicating and opening up,” reports Ben Cook, MA, a primary therapist at The Ranch. When clients arrive at The Ranch, they are assigned a horse to care for and to feed twice a day. Caring for and interacting with horses, Cook says, can offer unique lessons and insights about recovery.

The program was developed collaboratively with the clinical team, which includes the program’s equine therapist, Dede Beasley. Beasley is a master’s level clinician with more than three decades of experience in the field of equine-assisted therapy.

“Working with the horses helps our clients learn what it feels like to engage in selfless acts of service without an expectation of anything in return,” says Beasley. The process of working with horses can stir deeply buried emotions and reveal patterns in relationships and in communication.

“The horses can provide lessons in being direct and assertive and asking for what we want or need,” Beasley says.

In addition to equine-assisted therapy, the men’s program offers:

  • Two-hour group therapy sessions, four times a week
  • Weekly one-hour sessions with a primary therapy
  • Weekly one-hour sessions with a trauma therapist
  • Daily educational groups focused on trauma recovery, addiction recovery and spiritual development
  • Mindfulness/meditation groups several times each week
  • Multiple offsite meetings

Additional programming includes information and skills-building in nutrition, body image, fitness, wellness and 12-step principles, depending on the client’s needs.

River House is located on the site of the former Pinewood Plantation Mansion, and is adjacent to the barn that houses the horses used in therapy. The home features a new kitchen, new bathrooms and upgrades throughout. The treatment team at River House offers primary and extended care services for men suffering from emotional and mental health problems, including addiction, mood disorders and anxiety disorders.

About The Ranch Treatment Center

Established in 1999, The Ranch treatment center provides gender-separate therapeutic programs that address the underlying causes of trauma, addictions, eating disorders and other self-defeating behaviors. We offer innovative therapies that delve into the deep issues that thwart recovery, allowing clients to heal mind, body and spirit while learning personal accountability. Surrounded by the scenic beauty of the Piney River and the farms and ranches of Nunnelly, TN, The Ranch offers programs with a variable length of stay, which allows each client to anchor new recovery behaviors needed for lasting change. For more information about The Ranch treatment center, call (855) 893-5987 or visit http://www.recoveryranch.com.

The Ranch is a member of the Elements Behavioral Health® family of behavioral health programs located throughout the U.S. Elements Behavioral Health offers comprehensive, innovative treatment for substance abuse, sexual addiction, trauma, eating disorders and other mental health disorders. We are committed to delivering clinically sophisticated treatment that promotes permanent lifestyle change, not only for the patient but for the entire family system. For more information about Elements Behavioral Health, visit http://www.elementsbehavioralhealth.com.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Cheryl Brown
The Ranch
+1 (855) 893-5987
Email >

Dr. David Sack
@RecoveryRanch
since: 09/2009
Follow >
Visit website