Pet therapy or animal-assisted therapy (AAT) improves the chances of success because of the strong emotional bonds that form between humans and animals. Animals help soothe emotions, anxiety, calm clients. Animals help to open the mind to help better the client to interact with their counselor.
What is Animal Assisted Therapy and How Does It Help?
Animal-assisted therapy is when a therapist uses an animal to help with the healing process of many types of illnesses. They can be used in a variety of ways to treat or help with treatment of clients.
- Animals release endorphins in your brain that creates a calming effect
- They can help to regulate heart rate and blood pressure because of the calming effect they have
- Animals can manage anxiety, anger, and aggression
- Animals help boost self-worth
- Animals can help to develop trust between client and therapist by putting the client at ease
- Pets can give a sense of purpose
- Pets can help a patient be more physically active and socially attuned
- Primarily cats and dogs are used as AAT pets, but any animal can be used that the client is comfortable with
- Some animals can feel what we feel which can help a person be present in their emotions
- Animals help people see the world in a new way
- Animals give companionship
- They show unconditional love
- Animals can amplify calming emotions
As stated above many centers use cats and dogs, but horses have shown incredible results in many clients. There have even been positive results with dolphins as AATs. The benefits are mostly universal. They carry on after treatment has completed. Pets release a chemical in the brain called oxytocin, and it helps to make a person feel good. Pets help people feel connected to the world around them, even other people. They help develop positive emotional patterns that you can use outside of therapy.
Pet therapy has grown in rehabilitation centers because of positive results. Some centers allow clients to bring their own pets and some have certified support animals that assist in recovery. If pet therapy is something, you think you would benefit from contact the Center and see how we can assist you to fit your needs during your rehabilitation path best.