Insurance for Health Insurance Providers
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is an experiential model incorporating evidence-based, best-practice theory in a therapeutic setting.
This model is developed by the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA), the leading international association for professionals. Under EAGALA professional standards, all client sessions are conducted with a certified team that includes a licensed mental health professional. As an evolving psychotherapeutic modality, EAGALA adheres to a strong code of ethics, with national committees dedicated to ethics and research in setting national and international standards and protocols to ensure certified members are following the code of ethics.
EAGALA employs a Director of Clinical Services to ensure providers are maintaining mental health integrity and fidelity to theories and the model.
EAGALA also employs a Director of Compliance and Insurance to assist members meeting and maintaining required compliance elements within healthcare and assisting members with navigating appropriately credentialing, contracting, and networking.
About the Model
The EAGALA model uses best practices/evidence theories of mental health including, but not limited to, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Solution-Focused Therapy.
EAP addresses a variety of mental health and human development needs including behavioral issues, attention deficit disorder, PTSD, substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, relationship problems and communication needs.
EAP is NOT Hippotherapy or therapeutic riding. The focus of EAP is not riding or horsemanship. The focus of EAP is providing mental health services.
EAP Practice Requirements
EAP is 100% mental health-based, with a traditional session structure, using the following CPT codes: 90791, 90832, 90834, 90837, 90846, 90847, 90853, etc.
All clients have private intakes with the mental health professional at their office. Diagnosis, personal goals and session objectives are established. Session objectives are determined and always connected to the diagnosis and treatment goals. Progress notes reflect this.
Internal audits are conducted on a regular basis to assure compliance and high practice standards required by health insurance companies and oversight bodies.
The EAGALA Team Structure
The Mental Health Professional (MH): The MH is responsible for treatment planning, documentation of clients, and ensuring ethical practice.
The Equine Specialist (ES): The ES is a specialist in equine behavior and body language, and chooses the horses to be used in sessions. The ES works with the MH to structure sessions, maintains an equine log to document horse behaviors in sessions, remains vigilant to the safety and welfare of clients, horses and team, and utilizes an EAGALA-developed observational framework to track the specific and distinctive behaviors of the horses in session.
The Horse: Horses have many characteristics which make them especially effective in experiential settings. The horse’s size, movement, preternatural awareness and nonverbal communication are harnessed in specific ways to evoke response, self-adjustment and change in the client. In the EAGALA model, horses are not trained to specific behaviors; rather, the facilitating team seeks to access the horse’s natural instincts in responding to the human dynamic in session. The horse’s unique sensitivities as a prey animal make it especially responsive to incongruency and discrepancy in its environment, making them accurate mirrors to the client’s internal state.
For Equine Liability Insurance Providers
The EAGALA model provides a standard and structure for providing Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning sessions. This model firmly establishes a foundation of professional standards, with key values and beliefs, and forms a basis for practice standards and professionalism. The EAGALA Model provides a framework of practice, but within that framework, there is infinite opportunities for creativity and adaptability to various therapeutic and facilitating styles.
The EAGALA Model’s focus is 100% on the ground. The focus of EAP is not riding or horsemanship. The focus of EAP/EAL involves setting up activities involving horses and requiring the client or group to adapt and apply certain skills. Effective and deliberate techniques are utilized in creating a dynamic, experiential setting for effective skill building and change.