This article is part of our Mental Health Awareness Month. Brought to you by Touched by a Horse.
Marriage counseling can seem daunting for couples who are experiencing relationship troubles. In a therapy session, couples wait all week or month to tell a therapist what their significant other does wrong. Keeping scores and tallies, couples come ready to share their woes. But what if there was a better way? Well, since we know how powerful the healing powers are of horses, wouldn’t it make sense that horses could heal romantic relationships?
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Using a form of therapy that’s based on gestalt principles, it makes sense to include horses. Horses live a naturally gestalt lifestyle by living in the present moment. Horses don’t hold grudges for what happened yesterday or a few months ago. Humans hold grudges and harbor emotions inside to feed on it for months before expressing to the person who made us mad that we’re mad at them. When horses and humans come together for healing, the horse will unveil the truths of our pasts and traumas that allow us to understand who we are as a person and finish any unfinished business that might be holding us back in life.
Let’s look at three parts of the process that allow couples to connect on a deeper level.
In a couple’s session, everyone will get a turn answering questions to uncover who they really are. Couples can understand how they became the person they are based on answering how they were raised, how their grandparents raised their parents, and what they saw in marriage as a child and what they took from that. When there’s self-discovery, the significant other is able to also gain a better understanding. This part is all about seeking to understand before being understood.
Provoking understanding provokes connection and contact. When couples understand each other, they realize their differences in how they might’ve been raised and how that leads to issues. For example, when the couple gets into an argument, one partner wants to shut down while the other wants to engage. Once they uncover that the partner who wants to shut down saw his parents shut down on each other in arguments, it makes it easier to understand how to approach arguments so that both parties are comfortable.
When couples are able to come to the sessions knowing who they each truly are, they know themselves better and they know who they are in a relationship, so issues start to resolve themselves. The solution is understanding.