Mental health therapists provide individual and/or family counseling in conjunction with trained equine specialists and horses. Services are also available to SUD clients on an individual or group basis. Equine providers utilize the EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) model. Equine services are also provided for various prevention activities including support groups and youth programming.
BHP/FYS equine services foster a therapeutic work environment for eight tribal member workers. They focus on general job skills, equine related job skills, peer related activities, workplace conflict resolution and non-violent communication circles. Workers completed the Recovery Coach Academy and Certified Peer Counseling Training. Workers co-facilitate community healing groups at the barn. In addition, to their job function, staff is supported in working toward educational and other life skill goals. Including but not limited to, graduating from high school, obtaining a driver’s license and other positive life skills.
Women’s Circle, Poetry with Ponies, Social & Emotional Skills Group, HERD (Health and Empowered Relational Dynamics Support Group) Muckleshoot Equestrian Team, Sya Ya Club and Open Barn occur year round in the barn.
Youth meet regularly to work on developing leadership skills. Activities are centered on connecting to cultural values and other relevant skills. Horsemanship skills are based on teachings of medicine wheel natural horsemanship. Youth participate in nonviolent communication circles and represent their tribe at equine competitions and speaking/outreach opportunities. This year participants learned advanced trail ridding skills and gathered plants and herbs on horseback all summer. Youth from Stiqiw Council help peer mentor the younger SyaYa club participants.