• Using equine-facilitated psychotherapy to treat eating disorders

      Donofry, Susana; Cook, Christine; Healy, Joanne; Harrison, Lynn (2014)
      Eating disorders are pervasive mental disorders that can be accompanied by significant psychological symptoms and comorbidities, such as: suicide, anxiety, and depression. The binging and purging behaviors that often accompany eating disorders can result in significant medical issues such as dehydration, heart arrhythmias, seizures, kidney problems, and death. Eating disorders affect males and females alike, as well as adults and children, and are most predominant among Western cultures. Eating disorders often involve binge eating episodes, periods of starvation, and purging behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, laxative use, and excessive exercise. Treatment options for decreasing the symptoms of eating disorders include: pharmacological interventions, psychological interventions, exercise interventions, and equine facilitated psychotherapy (utilizes psychological interventions in combination with equine activities). This literature review provides a basis for a PowerPoint presentation that states the benefits of adding equine-facilitated psychotherapy to the list of top research priorities, as well as describes the benefits and limitations of this newer form of therapy.