Veteran therapy programs aren’t restricted to seeing VA doctor every two weeks. There are a multitude of alternative programs than can help military veterans seeking to improve their mental or physical health. Here are our favorite, off-the-beaten-path programs that are proven to help patients.
1) Wolf Therapy
Yes, chilling with a pack of wolves is a legitimate therapy. Since it launched in 2011, Warriors and Wolves has paired combat veterans with wolves and wolf-dogs to ease their transition out of the military. The wolves themselves are docile, making them great companions for veterans learning how to recover from trauma.
The organization also serves as a rescue for mixed-breed wolfdogs.
2) Horse Therapy
The Equus Effect helps veterans gain control of their personal, family and work lives by spending time with horses. Similar to Warriors and Wolves, this organization believes spending time with horses can help veterans learn how to overcome trauma. For example, a horse’s “wisdom of the prey” can teach veterans how to remain alert and on guard at all times without feeling malice or judgement towards others.
There’s no horseback riding in this therapy, just grooming, grazing and bonding.
3) Virtual Reality Therapy
The USC Institute for Creative Technologies’ Bravemind program helps veterans cope with post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety through virtual reality. The technology helps gradually expose veterans to the sources of their trauma in safe environments. The veteran therapy program can even teach veterans how to use new prosthetics.