Agency Information and Organizing Principles:
CHAPS Academy is a non-profit organization providing equine assisted mental health services to individuals, families and groups who are experiencing difficulties at home, school, work or in the community as a result of behavioral, or emotional problems. CHAPS was founded to primarily serve children and their families who are dealing with issues such as attention deficit, oppositional defiant disorder, depression, anxiety, BI-polar disorder, autism, aspergers and attachment disorders; as well as the parenting and relationship difficulties that result from these issues. Although targeting children and families, CHAPS is able to serve any individual interested in Equine Assisted Services.
CHAPS Academy’s philosophy is to provide quality mental health services to individuals, and families regardless of their ability to pay for services. CHAPS utilizes horses to assist in the therapy process due to the horse’s amazing ability to mirror it’s handlers emotions and behavior, as well as it’s ability to provide unconditional affection and love. Horses build relationships with our clients, much like our therapists do in a very non-threatening way. Horses are very large and powerful animals, and they offer our clients the opportunity to overcome fear and to develop confidence. The therapy offered at CHAPS Academy is experiential in nature. It allows the participants to learn through activities with the horses, and then discuss and process the feelings, behaviors and patterns experienced. Horses enable our clients to practice the skills discussed in therapy, and receive immediate feedback. Our clients are able to build self-esteem and confidence by overcoming fears, and learning how to problem solve with our horses. They improve communication, creative thinking and problem solving skills. By using horses in therapy, we are able to incorporate physical and recreational activities into the therapy process. Our sessions very much resemble play therapy, only we use horses in this process. Because horses resemble human in their social behavior, they provide therapists with many opportunities for metaphoric learning.
This form of therapy is not meant to be riding lessons, although our clients do learn horsemanship skills during their sessions, 90% of what we do with the horses is done on the ground. Any knowledge or skill in the area of horsemanship is not at all required to participate in the program. Parents are encouraged and expected to participate in the process with their children, and often times are in need of sessions themselves to deal with their own issues. It is not required that any or all sessions take place at the barn, we have office space available in New London and Appleton, where traditional outpatient sessions can occur.
The typical client that we see has been through regular outpatient counseling before and has not responded very well. We can work in conjunction with other mental health counselors, or we can be the primary therapists working with the individual.
CHAPS Academy Programs and Services
Individual Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)
Fee: 1 Hour Session $105.00 per hour
Family Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)
Fee: 1 Hour Session $105.00 per hour
Group Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Session
Fee: 1.5 hour sessions $60.00 per person per session
Intensive Youth and Family Treatment Program (Boys and Girls)
One family session per week (Can be In home or at Facility)
One evening of Community Service per week
One individual session with youth per week
This Program is provided in Collaboration with Medical & Counseling Associates, a mental health clinic located in Appleton and New London, WI.
Fee: $350 per week
Recommended time in program is 6 months
Payment for Services
Services are paid for through county contract and funding, private pay, EAP programs and grant funding. Some insurance companies may cover a portion of the fees for services.
Services are provided on a voluntary and court ordered basis.
Referral for services may be made by calling Ann Dake at (920) 209-3633, or emailing
Upcoming Programs and Groups:
Hope Lives (Suicide Prevention - Teen Girls Program)
14 week program
Begins November 2004
Consists of: 1 individual session per week
1 group session per week (Wednesdays, 4:30-6pm)
1 Group Family Session
Fee: $160 per week
This group is for adolescent girls who are suffering from severe depression, and are, or at risk for self-abusive and suicidal behavior. The group deals with coping with depression, self esteem, problem solving, family issues, alcohol and drugs, relationship issues, etc. Girls can begin at any time. Group sessions will remain open ended to allow for new girls to join as needed. Families must commit to full 14-week program.
Grief and Loss Group for Teens (Both Boys and Girls) (Grades 9-12)
10 week Group
Begins November 8, 2004 - Meets Mondays 6:30-8:00 pm
This group is for high school boys and girls (grades 7-12) who have experienced (or are currently experiencing) some type of loss in their lives. This loss could be the result of separation and/or divorce, moving, changing schools, dealing with chronic illness, the death of a family member, friend, or other major changes in a teenager’s life. Grief is defined as the sadness felt over the loss (or pending loss) of anything meaningful in one’s life. This group is specifically designed and scheduled to help young people deal with the increased feelings of grief and loss associated with the holiday season.
Grief and Loss Group for Pre-Teens (both Boys and Girls) ( Grades 5-8)
10 week Group
Begins November 10, 2004 - Meets Mondays 4:30-6:00 pm
This group is for pre-teen boys and girls (grades 2-6) who have experienced (or are currently experiencing) some type of loss in their lives. This loss could be the result of separation and/or divorce, moving, changing schools, dealing with chronic illness, the death of a family member, friend, or pet, or other major changes in a teenager’s life. Grief is defined as the sadness felt over the loss (or pending loss) of anything meaningful in one’s life. This group is specifically designed and scheduled to help young people deal with the increased feelings of grief and loss associated with the holiday season.
For more information please contact:
Ann Dake, Executive Director at (920)-209-3633
CHAPS Academy Facility
N5367 Mayflower Rd
Shiocton, WI 54170
This article was published in Human Services Today, Fall
2004, Volume 2, Issue 1.
http://hst.coehs.uwosh.edu This article may be freely distributed for educational purposes provided above copyright information is included.