Helping Children Develop Empathy Through Therapeutic Riding

One of the skills essential to mental health is the ability to access empathy and compassion for others and ourselves. Without empathy relationships are nearly impossible, and when we lose compassion for ourselves self-destructive behavior follows. I have worked with many children who have distanced themselves from emotion for various reasons. Sometimes a lack of awareness of how we or another person is feeling emotionally is related to psychiatric disorders like ADD or ADHD. In other cases, the ability to dissociate can be a very helpful coping strategy when someone has suffered neglect, abuse, or even the ordinary pains of human relationships. However, when we are too distant from our

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