Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Sonia Zimmerman


Mood disorders -- rehabilitation; Adolescent; Child; Hippotherapy


Children and adolescents are increasingly being identified with mood disorders. A growing concern is that children and adolescents are not afforded a wide range of interventions to address the symptoms of mental illness. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been identified as a useful treatment method for mood disorders. Hippotherapy has also been utilized in the treatment of mental illness. A literature review was conducted to explore the therapeutic benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy and hippotherapy for children and adolescents diagnosed with mood disorders. Although CBT has been recognized as useful, CBT methods applied to hippotherapy in occupational therapy does not appear to have been explored.

A CBT-based hippotherapy program was developed for use by occupational therapists in treating children and adolescents diagnosed with mood disorders. The program includes program goals, admission criteria and referral, assessment recommendations, interventions, outcomes and discharge planning. The Model of Human Occupation (MOHO) addresses the concept of volition and is the focus for intervention in addition to CBT and hippotherapy. Volition and motivation are often areas of concern for persons diagnosed with mental illness. MOHO was influential in assessment selection, intervention development, and selection of outcome measures.