is a non-profit organization located in Texas that provides equine assisted wellness and resiliency training for first responders and their families. Their orginization is unique in that they recognize the need for for healing in the lives of first responders and their families. The constant exposure to trauma, threat and high stress for First Responders is unique, and if not managed effectively can lead to anxiety, irritability, detachment, and alienation; all of which can significantly impact relationships, coping styles, productivity, and overall functioning. The goal at OurWatch is to provide a program that fosters understanding, awareness, and connection utilizing the incredible energy and relationships with the horses.
The program models and implements evidence-based treatment where goals of every interaction are guided by a team - a licensed first responder psychologist, equus certified life coaches, a nurse/pilates instructor, and horses. All of the team members at OurWatch are first responder family members allowing for additional insights into the impact of this line of work. The equine assisted process is one that promotes increased insights into the individual's physiological responses, moods, thoughts, and behaviors. When the immediacy of this experience is brought into awareness, healing happens. Life changing techniques are taught and employed to foster increased recognition of symptoms and then how to cope so that the First Responder and his/her support system can return to the quality of life they deserve.
At OurWatch, they strive to promote acceptance, compassion, hope and discovery for First Responders and their family. The main goals of their organization are:
- To address the emotional, mental, and physiological challenges associated with high-stress exposure
- To understand and decrease risk factors
- To build effective communication skills that promote connection and understanding
- To provide a safe, fun, supportive environment for creating self awareness and coping strategies
- To provide support to family members
The team at OurWatch understands the power of of equine-assisted wellness programs. Their website states, "Horses have an inherently gentle nature, are curious and desire to work within a herd or community. Like humans, horses are social with distinct personalities and moods. Learning to accept and adjust one’s self to these dynamics assists the first responder in effectively handling interpersonal relationships at work, in the community, and at home." By harnessing the relationship between humans and horses, they are able to make a major difference in the lives of first responders and their family members.
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