Cary horse therapy program helps service members with PTSD


CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – A recently launched therapy program is putting together a unique pair – horses and military service members.

Harbor Reins is a Cary nonprofit that uses horses to help current military and veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Experts say the interaction helps stimulate the brain to move from survival mode.

Clinical Trauma Professional, Amy Gressler, LPC NCC CCTP, heads the Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) program.

Gressler told CBS North Carolina EAP helps ease soldiers back into everyday life, and it keeps the rescue horses and thoroughbreds engaged.

“I’ve seen men that are completely tense all day long almost that melt into the horse,” the counselor described. “You can see even throughout their clothing how their muscles can relax and they’re breathing gets deeper and they just walk around with the horse for 45 minutes.”

Harbor Reins recently received a grant for research from the North Carolina Horse Council.

The nonprofit’s first day of research starts Monday, Memorial Day.

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