Animal Assisted Therapy: A Detailed Guide

Mar 7, 2022 | Pet-friendly

Addiction therapy can be of different types. Some of the institutions apply the traditional models of therapy such as behavioral therapy, 12-step programmes and sometimes prescribe medication for coping addiction. However, centers are also using alternative modes of therapy such as yoga, acupuncture or even art therapy. The newest form of advancement in therapy is also seeing modes of animal assisted therapy.  

Centers use different kinds of animals like dogs, horses and also dolphins. So, perhaps the most important question is – does this help? Now, animal assisted therapy has been used in multiple situations with people who are diagnosed with mental disorders. This may include Alzheimer’s, cerebral palsy and substance abuse. It has been concluded that interacting with animals reduces depression, anxiety and feelings of worthlessness, which happens during treatment. Let us look at some of the most commonly used forms of animal assisted therapy and how they help the patients.

Equine-assisted therapy

The word ‘equine’ refers to the family of horses and equine therapy uses horses to impart therapy. We have to talk about Equine-assisted psychotherapy (EAP), which brings the focus to the family of the patient. There is Equine-assisted learning, which seeks to change the behavior of the patient by understanding the behavior patterns of a horse. 

Dolphin-assisted therapy

What would you think about swimming with wild dolphins as a mode of therapy? Yes, you heard that right. There are several institutions located near the ocean to allow the patients to seek therapy by observing dolphins. It has been found that dolphins are vastly intelligent and curious creatures. They have a tendency to interact with humans, which makes them the perfect candidate for animal-assisted therapy. Dolphins can help to reduce the feelings of isolation and rejection by interaction and acceptance received from a dolphin. 

Canine-assisted therapy

There is a reason that a dog is touted as a man’s ‘best friend’. Research has shown that dogs can cause the addict to feel welcome and unjudged. Since they are highly trainable and can understand human emotions, they are used across the world for imparting therapy. 

Our canine friends are used for varied people such as people with mental disorders, illnesses and incarcerated individuals. Being around a dog allows these people to feel comfortable and share their feelings with the therapist. It has caused canine therapy to be at the top of the charts in animal assisted therapy. Call us now to learn more!