Meeting Medicare Mental Health Guidelines

How to Refer Your Patients

Meeting Medical Health Guidelines, requires you to read the information below and contact Horse Sense for Humans to discuss your patient’s needs. There are a range of strategies that have been approved for use by Allied Mental Health Professionals using FPS item numbers.


Incorporating Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) in the Management of Mental Disorders

The methods used at Horse Sense for Humans are based on sound psychological principles. There is considerable research evidence to support its use*. Our approach is an experiential problem solving model of change. Utilising therapeutic metaphor to look at perceived limitations, allows behavioural practice and facilitate cognitive restructuring.  Individual and group sessions involve clients undertaking interactive activities with horses.  Horse Sense for Humans’ programs do not involve any horse riding and prior experience with horses is not necessary. Even clients who are fearful of horses are welcome.



Numerous studies have explored the effectiveness of EAP (Emory, 1992; Greenwald, 2001; Bray, 2002; Scheihacker, Frieidrich and Bender, 2002: Adudell, 2003; Kaiser, Lvergne and Bosch, 2004). These studies have consistently found statistically significant positive changes on clinical outcome measures  as a result of EAP.

*for further details please see references on research page


Equine Assisted Psychotherapy will assist patients who have been diagnosed with:

  • Anxiety, depression and stress
  • Anger, Bullying and Domestic Violence
  • Grief
  • Social and Behavioral disorders including Oppositional-defiant disorder and ADHD
  • Eating disorders
  • Problems related to misuse of alcohol and/or drugs
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)


This approach encourages in patients:

  • a greater understanding of thoughts, feelings and behaviours in difficult situations
  • an understanding of problem solving styles and ways of improving them
  • the development of new skills that assist in better management of unhelpful thoughts, feelings and physical reactions
  • the incorporation of exercise and other activities into their lives that support health and wellbeing
  • improved communication skills and increased assertiveness
  • an understanding of inter-personal boundaries and how to maintain them
  • the development and implementation of new behaviours that assist in overcoming challenges
  • an enhanced self image, greater self-confidence and improved self-esteem


Equine Assisted Psychotherapy encompasses the following strategies identified in the Medicare Benefits Schedule:

Behavioural interventions:

  • Provide experiences that develop alternatives to unhelpful behavioural patterns


Exposure Therapy:

  • Experiential activities customised to address your patients concerns in relating to others


Skills Training in:

  • Problem Solving skills and training
  • Anger management
  • Social Skills training
  • Communication training
  • Parent management training

Social Skills and Communication training incorporates:

  • Boundary setting in relationships
  • Assertiveness rather than aggression or passivity
  • Giving clear instructions
  • Listening skills
  • Negotiation and joint decision making
  • Identifying  personal styles of conflict resolution

Parent management training incorporates:

  • Assertiveness rather than aggression or passivity
  • Balancing the focus between achieving tasks and relationships
  • Motivating others
  • Developing or enhancing trust
  • Encouraging team work within the family

Anger Management training incorporates:

  • Identifying emotional triggers
  • Increasing awareness of the impact of aggression on others
  • Increasing individuals ability to tolerate/accept frustration
  • Assertiveness rather than aggression or passivity
  • Listening skills
  • Identifying personal styles of conflict resolution
  • Balancing the focus between achieving tasks and relationships

Please incorporate these items in the Mental Health Plan that you develop for your patient.