Traumatised Tube workers get horse whisperer therapy

London Underground workers who were traumatised by the 7 July attacks on the CapitalÕs transport network are being given special rehabilitation using horses.

Since the terrorist attacks last summer, six staff members have undergone “equine-assisted psychotherapy” at the Stepps rehabilitation centre in Gloucestershire, according to the Evening Standard newspaper. Another five staff have had other treatments at the centre.

Sam Quinlan, a director at Stepps, said using the horse whisperer-style therapy could break down barriers facing individuals that might take months to overcome in one-to-one sessions.

“This [the horse therapy] will get to the root of it a lot quicker,” she said. “The person becomes very vulnerable and honest around horses.”

As part of the treatment the patients are given a horse and they have to perform tasks, such as catching it with a rope and guiding it through an obstacle course. If the horse comes to a halt then they have to start again.

Quinlan said this allowed therapists to see whether patients had a defeatist attitude or whether they got angry with the horse.

One patient, a station assistant on the Northern Line, told the Standard: “At first I felt embarrassed talking to the horses, but in the end it was a spiritual awakening and a lot of burdens just lifted and dissolved.”


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