Champions by Randy Mandrell & Patti Mandrell, M.Ed., LPC
EAP Group Curriculum for At-Risk Adolescents.
The implementing of this curriculum must be flexible to be effective. For maximum success, facilitators must expand on suggested discussion questions depending on the outcome of each activity. Activity results will change depending on weather variables, horse behaviors, and group dynamics. For example, during a scheduled activity your horse becomes “totally uncooperative” (as the clients describe it). Use this situation to your advantage by discussing the effects being uncooperative has on others and how to deal with it. Life is unpredictable and these activities are designed to help participants deal with this inconsistency in life. Remember, that is what makes EAP so effective! Another key to the success of this curriculum is a well balanced EAP team. To ensure safety and maximum understanding of the horses’ personalities and behaviors, an experienced horse professional familiar with the therapy horses is imperative. Equally as important is a skilled therapist with a keen understanding of metaphorical learning and reality therapy. The group will only be as good as the facilitators. The goal of this curriculum design is to teach at-risk youth how to handle difficult situations in a positive manner. Just as in all EAP activities, this curriculum is not designed to box you in or limit your therapy discussions but to open new venues of learning for the participants. Be flexible and have fun learning with each group!