When we “ hit our bottom” in active addiction and then surrender, and seek help for our problem there are a lot of working parts. There is an order of the steps that we have to take. First, in order to be successful we have to admit complete defeat. Our own thoughts and actions are what got us to this point. The best frame of mind an addict wanting help can get to is to be willing to do this someone else’s way. Most of us go into a detox to physically help us with our withdrawal symptoms in both mind and body. While this is happening a good program with experienced therapists and counselors are already planning the next step.
That’s where Malibu Wellness Ranch comes in. After they are fully detoxed most of our patients commit to a 90 day program with us. Along with traditional clinical clinical therapies we offer one of the most unique style of programing using our horses. When I first toured “The Ranch” a few years ago I thought equine therapy was just snake oil. I asked myself “What can a horse do for someone who’s life is in complete disarray?” That was answered very quickly when I started asking some of the existing patients that question. I listened to a variety of answers that made so much sense. Patients would tell me that it gives them a sense of purpose.
Every patient that comes in for treatment with us is assigned their own horse for the duration of treatment. (*they are not obligated to participate) The process is done in a very methodical way. Our barn staff know our horses like a mother knows a child. We try to match our patients underlying issues with a horse that can help combat that. An example is someone who has PTSD and anxiety would be assigned a different horse than someone who has clinical depression.
Our staff teaches our patients how to care for a horse from a to z. They learn how to clean and brush them, bathe them, saddle them, and ride them. The vast majority of our patients get a new best friend in their horse. To watch the transformation of someone who came in so broken to someone who has found a way out is truly remarkable. We call our alumni often after they complete treatment. Inevitably the one question we always get is “ How is my horse?”. A lot of our past patients take up riding or volunteering at barns around their homes.
Some benefits to our equine program:
Check back tomorrow and read about how we use our horses and clinical staff to go on an actual cattle drive.