Psychodynamic Based Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy in Adults with Intertwined Personality Problems and Traumatization: A Systematic Review

M.J. Enders - Slegers, Geza Kovacs*, Annemiek Van Dijke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The growing field of equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP), a subfield of animal-assisted psychotherapy (AAP), needs theoretically-based clinical studies. This systematic review examines the existing clinical studies in adult populations on psychodynamic psychotherapy combined with equine-assisted psychotherapy. An electronic database search was divided in two studies to identify publications on 1) EAP combined with psychodynamic psychotherapy and 2) EAP combined to personality problems and traumatization in order to compile studies by population, intervention, outcome and therapeutic assets. Study 1 revealed no relevant clinical studies on EAP with a psychodynamic background with an adult population. Study 2 revealed 12 publications to review predominantly addressing veterans with PTSD. The methodological limitations of most of the studies restrain the overall findings on outcome. However, overall positive effects for EAP, specifically on its experiential features and on finding interpersonal trust for patients, can be discerned. There is an apparent need for clinical studies meeting methodological standards on psychodynamic underpinned EAP methodologies in adults with intertwined personality problems and traumatization.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5661
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • psychodynamic equine assisted therapy

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