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TCU 360

TCU alumni connect with each other at Guy Fieri’s Dive & Taco Joint in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. on Friday Oct. 7, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Tristen Smith)
How TCU's alumni chapters keep the Horned Frog spirit alive post-grad
By Addison Thummel, Staff Writer
Published May 11, 2024
TCU graduates can stay connected with the Horned Frog community with alumni chapters across the nation.

TCU Counseling and Mental Health Center offers equine therapy

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Shalyn Minshew
Lesli Figueredo explains the benefits on equine therapy in the TCU commons. (Shalyn Minshew/Staff Photographer)

The TCU Counseling and Mental Health Center is using horses as healers.

The counseling center partnered with Freedom Reigns Counseling to provide equine therapy to TCU students at no additional cost.

Freedom Reigns Counseling uses horses in counseling sessions to help patients build a relationship and connection to their chosen horse.

TCU students listening to Lesli Figueredo explain the benefits of equine therapy in the Campus Commons. (Shalyn Minshew/Staff Photographer)

These connections can help people in individual, family or group settings and address a wide range of psychotherapy including trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety and stress management.

Horses shift their emotions to match the patients immediately. Giving patients real time feedback shows the effects of their emotions, which can help patients regulate their emotions, said Lesli Figueredo, a licensed professional counselor who leads the sessions in equine therapy.

Horses don’t feel emotions of anxiety and depression like humans, which helps teach patients to experience their emotions in real time just like the horses.

She said equine therapy can specialize in trauma, reduce anxiety and improve school performance in college students.

The number of young adults reporting poor mental health is increasing, according to the CDC. But the counseling center is hosting innovative programs like equine therapy to improve students’ mental health.

Equine therapy doesn’t come with the stigma of a traditional office setting that discourages some people from therapy. It minimizes the negative stigma around counseling and allows patients an alternative option.

More information and sign-up forms can be found on TCU Counseling and Mental Health Center website, under the Specialized Services tab.

All emergency and 24/7 Counseling Helpline phone numbers can be found on the TCU Counseling and Mental Health website or on the back of all student IDs.

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