Making music, painting, and working with horses all sound like a great way to spend a Saturday morning. However, for people who have been affected by trauma, these activities are more than a past time – they can make for life-saving treatment. Dr. Maria Espinola is a clinical psychiatrist, whose research is focused on how such alternative therapies can help people with trauma. She invited me out to Heaven Ward Farm, where the staff train patients to work and care for horses as a way to cope with their experiences.

I had never worked with horses before, and I’ll admit, I was more than a little nervous. But there is something about working with an animal so large that forces you to focus on being in the moment. There’s no room for your mind to wander and think about the countless other things in your life.

Classroom resource: Addressing Trauma (from PBS POV)

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