NAMPA, Idaho — Johnny Urrutia has been using horses to help people heal for about two decades at his Back 40 Ranch south of Nampa. This past weekend, Urrutia officially opened Intensive Healing Therapy to help people improve their mental health without the use of medication.
"We realized that we were offering something that just wasn’t offered anywhere else and that’s the integration therapy session," said Urrutia.
One of the key components is equine therapy as this ranch uses horses to heal and several people we talked to say it has made a big difference for them.
"I’m a survivor of domestic violence and arsenic poising," said Heather Kern. "I just found out about this and it was very hard for me to process that information, I’ve been physically sick and mentally sick for a long time."
People who suffer hardships have found a way to cope with the help of horses, this program focuses on people with anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction, and people tell us it has helped get rid of suicidal thoughts.
"My entire life has changed so much that this is my job now," said Kern. "I do this every day helping people get past their traumas and everything they have gone through with alternative ways to treat mental health."
Intensive Healing Therapy uses breathing exercises, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing or EMDR and of course horses in their seven and 14-day programs.
"They actually have that ability to make us feel good and we didn’t know why, but now science is showing why and how that happens," said Urrutia. "We just help a lot of people without them knowing what is going on."
Check out the video for a demonstration that will help people understand more about this form of mental health therapy.