WHY DONKEY THERAPY
Discover how Donkey's become teacher and how we are developing the program.
OUR DONKEY-ASSISTED THERAPY PROGRAM IS SPECIFICALLY FOR VULNERABLE WOMEN AND CHILDREN.
Donkeys have an innate emotional intelligence that can help to develop the social and emotional skill set of humans. The launch of our Rainbow Ears Program will allow our donkeys the freedom to work with our clients on the same level to develop an empathetic relationship, which is mutually beneficial for the client and donkey.
One of the key aims of this program is also to raise the status of the donkey to be recognised as a sentient, intelligent being, with a huge capacity to teach us about ourselves.
DEVELOPING DONKEY-ASSISTED THERAPY
Initially, NRNR programs focused on women and children who had experienced trauma, with a particular focus on abuse, but since moving NRNR H.Q from the U.K to the U.S we recognize the therapeutic benefits of introducing Therapy Animals to our wellbeing programs that could help women and children with a wide range of emotional and social needs. As a consequence we are building our first Animal Therapy Centre - Amitola Wonderland - Centre For Brave Hearts, on the solid foundation established over four years of delivering empowering, self worth programs, focusing on developing key life skills such as self-esteem, managing emotions and empathy.
BENEFITS TO DONKEYS AND HUMANS
How interaction between donkeys and humans can enrich the lives of both.
Our donkey-assisted therapy sessions are designed to help develop life skills, specifically self-esteem, empathy and managing emotions, in vulnerable women and children, helping them develop the emotional and social wellbeing skills to deal with challenging and stressful situations in the real world. Sessions with the donkeys also help develop adaptive and positive behaviour and promote positive attitudinal changes towards donkeys.
When a woman and child is able to get over their fear of interacting with an animal bigger than themselves, this helps to build their resilience. This experience can change the neurology so that the next time they face a scary situation, they will know it’s possible to come out the other side of their fear. That confidence didn’t exist before - the experience with the donkey has rewired the brain so that they are more able to overcome their fears and approach difficult and challenging situations.
Donkeys have a unique presence, a zen-like grounded quality. We’re using their abilities as sentient facilitators and encouraging them to be an equal partner in the session.
CARON WHALEY, DIRECTOR OF DONKEY-ASSISTED THERAPY, THE DONKEY SANCTUARY, U.K.