Animal Assisted Therapy in FloridaSJRP Admin2021-11-03T15:36:41-04:00
“Emotional recovery and positive psychological transformation often occurs when the relationship between an individual and the therapy animal grows.”
What is Animal Assisted Therapy?
At St. John’s Recovery Place we love animals. We have seen such an amazingly positive impact on pairing animals with our clients. Incorporating animal-assisted therapy with some of our traditional treatments has had a huge impact on the well-being of our clients. A large array of studies over the past decade have proven that the special bond between animals and humans is extremely therapeutic. Animal-assisted therapy for drug and alcohol addiction recovery has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression regardless of client age. Studies have shown that these positive changes were in every client despite the length of the therapy session or the severity of symptoms. Overall, having animals around lightens up everyone’s mood at the facility, especially while going through what may be a difficult and rough time. We want clients to have as many opportunities to rediscover joy in life as possible and believe that having animals around, most commonly dogs, help them to do just that.
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“Animal Assisted Therapy, according to Psychology Today is defined as “a therapeutic intervention that incorporated animals, such as horses, dogs, cats, pigs, and birds into a treatment plan. It is used to enhance and complement the benefits of traditional therapy.”
You may have heard the saying, “a dog is a man’s best friend.” Well throughout history, we have seen the value that animals provide to us humans, dogs being the most popular and common companion animal of all. Early studies have shown that dogs are extremely sensitive to the changes of human behavior, human emotions, and facial expressions. Hence, dogs are a great choice for animal-assisted intervention to help clients with various physical and mental health disorders. Such an intervention is called canine-assisted therapy. This therapy is effective with the interaction between therapy dogs and clients. It enhances well-being and therapeutic activities such as social-emotional, cognitive, and behavioral functioning of the clients.
“At SRJP, we have trained therapy dogs that visit the clients and can interact with the dogs inside or outside the facility. Clients are able to discuss their experiences with a therapist before, during, and after spending time with the animals.”