Pairing Animal Assisted Therapy With Other Mental Health Services
Pairing Animal Assisted Therapy With Other Mental Health Services

Pairing Animal Assisted Therapy With Other Mental Health Services

Animal assisted therapy (AAT) is a holistic approach that involves using pets and animals like canines, cats, horses, and alpacas during human psychotherapy. These animals aid your healing during mental health treatment by creating a calming presence. Here is more information about pairing pet therapy with other mental health services:

Reasons to Combine Pet Therapy With Mental Health Treatments

Interacting with animals during counseling helps promote positive emotions like love, excitement, and happiness. These positive emotions make the body produce hormones like prolactin or serotonin, which can lower your stress and aid relaxation. Positive feelings during AAT come from a sense of reassurance created when you bond with pets. Here are other reasons pet therapy gets paired with counseling services:

Promoting Social Interactions

Social interactions help you become more confident and open up during pet therapy. Interacting with animals creates a sense of companionship, enabling you to overcome loneliness. You also learn about accepted social behaviors by observing how the therapist interacts and relates with animals. The animal’s positive responses in therapy help motivate you to adopt appropriate social skills like self-control.

Speeding Trauma Recovery

Pets like canines help promote a safe and secure environment for trauma survivors during mental health treatment. The calming effect of animals aids trauma recovery by making you less alert and sensitive to environmental cues. Restfulness and affection fostered by animals also help you overcome trauma symptoms like anger and irritability.

Promoting Physical Wellness

Pet therapy involves animal-based activities like dog walking or horse riding to enhance physical fitness and flexibility. These activities motivate you to plan a daily workout routine to help achieve your physical health goals. Pet grooming, teeth brushing, or feeding enhance your motor and coordination skills. Other potential health benefits include improved mobility and pain management.

Mental Health Services Paired With Pet Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a mental health service that can be combined with pet therapy. The therapies work well if you are battling substance abuse, depression, and phobias. Observing the animals’ positive behaviors and responses during CBT can foster positive thoughts and behavioral patterns. The animal’s calming nature during interactions enables you to develop coping skills like relaxation techniques and emotional control.

Mental health specialists also incorporate animal assisted therapy with individual and family therapies. The approach helps if you’re undergoing a divorce, domestic abuse, or substance addictions. Consolation resulting from bonding with animals during individual or family therapy offers you emotional support. Other mental health services that can be paired with AAT include music therapy, trauma-informed therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy.

How a Pet Therapist Can Help

A comprehensive examination can help a mental health expert pair your AAT with other counseling services. Assessments enable a counselor to determine concerns that pet therapy addresses. The animals involved in the therapy sessions undergo adequate training to improve their interactions with humans.

Your mental health specialist informs you upfront about the pets or animals to be involved in the therapy session. Informed consent prepares you for the paired mental health service by eliminating nervousness. The counselor reviews your progress to determine AAT effectiveness and make the necessary improvements.

Mental Health Problems Animal Assisted Therapy Can Solve

Pet therapy helps children with autism manage various symptoms like withdrawals or unusual mood reactions. The repetitive sounds, touches, and smells from animals improve your autistic child’s sensory response. This type of stimulation allows your child to concentrate, socialize, and become more cheerful.

Pet therapy allows eldery people with dementia to create affectionate and fun relationships with animals like canines. Animal assisted treatments help a loved one with dementia to develop better communication behaviors. Participating in animal-based activities like grooming allows dementia patients to develop self-care skills.

Pet therapy helps improve how you think and feel if you have schizophrenia. By working with a service animal, you can stay in touch with your surroundings, which helps prevent your symptoms and allows you to interact with friends and loved ones more easily. Alleviation of schizophrenia symptoms enables you to build positive relationships or friendships.

Visit a Pet Therapist Today

Pairing animal assisted therapy with other psychiatry services can help make mental health treatment more effective. The treatments improve your mood, self-confidence, and social behaviors. Book a pet therapy appointment today to start your mental health improvement journey.

About author


"Dr. Kamal Kumar, MD, a medical expert, and valued contributor to Article Thirteen, offers insightful healthcare perspectives and expertise on our platform."
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