Of course there are many things but one thing I really enjoy is the chance for children to lose their “labels” when participating in Equine Facilitated Learning. Although you don’t need a referral to book for our services, we often receive reports from other professionals regarding a child’s ‘problematic’ behaviours or parents feeling they are ‘out of options’. Children may have been removed from class or suspended from school, shown violence or aggression towards other therapists, had trouble fitting in and making friends or excluded from friendship groups because they were considered different.
At Beyond Words, we have deliberately designed a space that is not a traditional clinical setting. We offer large recliner chairs and bouncy balls in our converted woolshed, affectionately called the ‘Barn’. We have sun lounging chairs around the grounds and a relaxed and rustic feeling.
The animals don’t know what a clients clinical reports say, they are only interested in a person’s intentions in the moment. They offer children (and adults) a chance to show another side of themselves. To show they have empathy, compassion and can build trusting relationships. At Beyond Words, clients often find that whilst they struggle fitting in with their current environment, they fit in just fine here. This gives them hope that there will be other places they will fit in. Maybe they don’t excel in a school environment, maybe maths or English isn’t their thing but here, they can start exploring what they are good at and then take those skills with them when they leave.
We offer a chance for clients to feel good about themselves, recognise the skills they do have and explore what they could do with their futures. As CS Lewis writes ‘you can’t go back and change the beginning but you can start where you are and change the ending.”