Maya E. Michel, Psy.D., is a 2018 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Theodore Ellenhorn, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Vincent Pignatiello, PsyD, Committee Member
  • Amanda Hitchings, PsyD, Committee Member


Equine-facilitated therapy, Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, Adolescent girls, Immediate feedback

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This study examined the potential impact of equine-facilitated therapy (EFT) as an adjunct treatment for pre-adolescent girls with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Research on EFT has shown some promise in helping children develop a sense of self and greater awareness of their behavior and body language. It has also shown potential for increasing externalizing and internalizing behaviors. The rationale behind the use of EFT with children with ADHD is that by taking part in an EFT program, they will receive immediate feedback on their behavior and will therefore experience an increase in attentional control and a decrease in impulsivity. Two 11-year-old girls with a diagnosis of ADHD took part in a 12-week EFT program. They received 12 sessions and participated in this study for a total of 14 weeks. Measures were administered four times over the course of the study. Participants completed the BASC-2 Self-Report of Personality and the IVA-CPT-2, while the parents filled out the BASC-2 PRS. The focus of this research was to investigate whether EFT can be beneficial in reducing core symptoms of ADHD (i.e., attention problems, hyperactivity, internalizing and externalizing behavior) according to both participants and their parents. The results suggest that the potential benefits of EFT vary depending on the individual. Both parents and participants reported a decrease in symptoms associated with ADHD on the BASC-2. On the IVA-CPT-2, only the Response Control Auditory scale for Participant 1 showed some improvement throughout the program, while the other scales showed improvements until Time 3. These gains were not maintained on the last testing day. The results for Participant 2 showed a decrease in scores on both attention and response control scales throughout the program.


Maya E. Michel

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-6195-3839