“In 1991, 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard was abducted while walking from her home to a nearby school bus stop. She was sexually assaulted and confined for 18 years before she and the two daughters she had in captivity were recovered from kidnappers Phillip and Nancy Garrido.
How do you start to heal after a trauma like that? One of the things that helped the most, Dugard says, was horses. She and her children and mother did equine-facilitated therapy (EFT) with Rebecca Bailey, a clinical and forensic psychologist who specializes in complex trauma scenarios. Dugard was so impressed with the experience, she went on to found the JAYC Foundation to give other families in crisis the same access to healing.
“Horses have the special ability to make you be totally in the moment, making talking about the trauma I went through so much easier and less painful,” says Dugard, now 38. “The work Dr. Bailey was doing really resonated with me. The way she incorporated horses into our sessions was so much more impactful than just regular talk therapy.””