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How Equine Therapy Helps Veterans Cope With PTSD

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Description

Dennis is a Purple Heart recipient who struggled to get help dealing with PTSD. Then he discovered equine-assisted psychotherapy at Miles Ranch in Fort Myers, Florida. Founded by Gail Doxie—REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®—who works as both a real estate professional and mental health counselor, this facility uses equine-assisted psychotherapy to help veterans heal. Dennis quickly bonded with the horse he was assigned to work with. “It’s a matter of respect with an animal,” he says. “Words don’t need to be said to express who you are.”

 

 

 

 

Video Script:: 

this is a after a fire fight we're doing four day mission closing fobs in the valley just got hit it was a aftermath of a firefighter it took me ten years to be able to okay and look at it I don't know it's a memory I went through it reminds me who I am and what I've done 22 veterans per day commit suicide most of the population don't understand what the symptoms are they don't understand that this is just not an angry person this is somebody has been truly damaged by war I come from a long line of military my family was all military our son had joined the United States Air Force and in 2006 he passed away and that was the segue into finding more purpose really I think a lot of things his personal relationships I went back to school in 2007 to get my psychology degree and I stumbled upon equine assisted psychotherapy nothing makes me feel alive like combat did I missed that bond when you trust someone in those parameters it's hard to trust someone in a different setting it's not like they the show in the movies we're not psychotic animals we want peace above anything anywhere I would try to get help that is for veterans they shut me out they kicked me out deal with it I was on a pure path of destruction go back go back we use the horses as metaphors they are eleven hundred pound animals so the veteran has to work out how to get the horse to want to go with them and they start to see how their behaviors have affected their family members or those around them Dennis was in a really dark place I heard about the ranch I was like let's let's just try it let's see what we can do he is a Purple Heart recipient along with many other medals but it took him a good six months before he could even really start to talk to me so we had to go very very carefully and very slowly I can't communicate well with human beings I'm strange I'm awkward and weird don't care who I am it's a matter of respect of like with an animal words no need to be said to express who you are coming out here he's not thinking about all those other things that are always going on like tornadoes in his head it's good for him knowing that another life depends on him normal life to me it would look like the house have some kids and it's difficult and it shouldn't be that way I think real estate really trained me to deal with many many different types of people in particular working with the veterans it's got unique challenges and I personally feel that we owe our veterans somewhere that they can feel safe when they come back from war that's what the ranch does it makes them feel safe back home again and to move forward into somewhat of a new normal in life Dennis is such a unique person such a loyal person and that's something so it's something so hard to find in people if you're a veteran this is a place to feel at home and feel safe and feel like you won't be judged and made me a better person he can completely you

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