The multi-professional team of Lichtblickhofs provides individual and needs-oriented support and care for families whose child is affected by an incurable and life-shortening illness or trauma. In addition to the affected children, all of our attention is focused on the siblings, who always urgently need supportive, relieving therapy. The team of therapists is supported by specially trained animals. Our therapy horses and animals create space for encounters and non-verbal communication. They are sensitive to the children's basic needs and respond to them. 

The range of therapies Lichtblickhofs includes palliative, trauma, bereavement and hospice support for children. A dignified togetherness, reliability and responsibility towards the families, as well as the experience of self-efficacy and security are most important Lichtblickhof at the top.

Therapeutic care and support include:

  • Anamnesis or therapy concept talks
  • individually created therapy concept
  • regular progress discussions
  • Networking with a psychosocial team (if required)
  • Crisis intervention (if needed)
  • final talk

Equotherapy® – our therapeutic approach

Equotherapy® is a special form of therapy in which the therapists are supported by the special abilities of the horses. We originally developed the concept of Equotherapy® with horses, but over time it has been further developed and extended to other animals. The focus of this approach is to place the animal in its perception and communication skills at the center of the therapeutic process. 

During the units, the children and young people receive many new impulses from both the human and animal therapists. Without words, our horses in the therapy setting encourage interaction and a relationship. This "non-linguistic" offer opens up development steps and stimulates the senses. 

In addition to the medium horse or animal, the different source professions and the additional qualifications of the supervising trainers, pedagogues and psychotherapists result in an interdisciplinary variety of methods. This creates access to individual life situations from a wide variety of perspectives.

Equotherapy® can take place in both individual and group units, so-called horse strength groups.

Therapeutic Individual Units

At the beginning of the individual therapy there is an introductory meeting or initial consultation, followed by about two individual hours in which the goal is to get an idea of ​​the strengths and weaknesses of the child concerned. Only after these unbiased encounters does a detailed anamnesis or therapy concept discussion take place with the legal guardians, here possible focal points and goals of the therapy are discussed together. The individual therapy concept offers a framework, but can be adapted to current developments and needs of the children and young people at any time if necessary.

Therapeutic group units

The special thing about our "horse power groups" is that they consist of a maximum of four children, who are accompanied by a therapist. In this setting, social interaction, mutual support, playfully measuring one another, encouraging one another and laughing together alternate with individual experiences and individual support. The setting of the therapy group enables a lasting transfer of the positive experiences from the individual units into social interaction and facilitates the transfer into everyday life.

Hospice accompaniment

The team of Lichtblickhofs has many years of experience in hospice care. The outpatient support is a great help over time and the inpatient weeks give powerful impulses for new happy paths. In many situations, a flexible stationary offer is important. We are all the more pleased that from the summer of 2022 we will be able to support and care for families in specially furnished hospice apartments in Vienna over a longer period of time even more intensively and according to their needs.

impulse weeks

In addition to the regular units, impulse weeks are offered at our location in Lower Austria when there is no school. For many children and young people, this is a valuable opportunity to gain social experience outside of the family and yet in a protected environment. For children with serious illnesses, disabilities or traumatic experiences, experiencing their own deficits in the "normal" social group is often formative. Our impulse weeks are about creating security and trust again. Common nature experiences, such as trekking tours, sitting around the campfire, shooting stars count but also everyday things like cooking together, mucking out the stables and participating in the life of the animals create connecting rays of hope.

Including theater group

The inclusive theater group is a friendly network for children, young people and adults with and without serious illnesses, disabilities or traumatic experiences. On the one hand, our team of therapists organizes the joint activities, such as dancing, theater plays and animal acrobatics, and on the other hand, we are there to support you. Music, art, literature enrich the time together. Getting other people to think creatively with the annual productions is the biggest task of the joint training time.