What is Animal Assisted Therapy? And Why You Need it

By admin / January 26, 2019

It’s no secret that dogs and other pets can increase life expectancy. But did you know that they can also help with therapy?

Since the 1980s, animals have served in a variety of therapeutic capacities. You can find animal therapy programs in physical therapy centers, drug rehabilitation centers, and more.

If you or a loved one are interested in animal therapy, let this serve as a brief primer on the subject. Here are a few ways animal assisted therapy can benefit you.

Emotional Support

Whether in a rehab center or recovering from an injury, therapy can be a tough process, to say the least. Animal assisted therapy can help ease the feelings of isolation that sometimes come along with various sorts of therapy.

For example, a place like Taylor Recovery allows pets in their center because they can serve as valuable companions. When trying to break the cycle of addiction, having a friend nearby who truly reserves all judgment can be incredibly powerful.

In psychiatric facilities, pets can help resocialize people after intense trauma or teach someone to relate better to others. Again, having something to interact with that lacks any risk of consequence is very healing. 

Even in physical therapy, having an animal involved in the process can simply make it easier. Pets are proven to reduce stress, which makes them perfect for someone going through a particularly challenging ordeal.

Physical Benefits

Believe it or not, having animals around can have a profound effect on your health. Beside increasing life expectancy, pets can lower blood pressure, reduce the physical symptoms of stress, and decrease the chance of heart disease.

There have even been studies showing a link between the presence of animals in therapy and an increase in fine motor skills and balance. It’s easy to see how beneficial this could be to someone recovering from an injury or going through other types of physical therapy.

The wonderful thing about the physical benefits of animal assisted therapy is that they’re always welcome. No matter what sort of therapy someone is going through, increased wellness is a great thing.

It Works

While the specifics certainly matter, the most important thing is that it really works. There are numerous studies demonstrating animals’ effectiveness in various sorts of therapy.

Not only that, but the anecdotal evidence is powerful. People nearly universally report feeling better when animals are present in their therapy. Combine that with proven scientific results and you have a formula for success.

At the end of the day, animals simply make people feel better. More at ease, less stressed. Even if there weren’t any other side effects of their presence, it would be worth it for that alone.

Animal Assisted Therapy Is Right for You

Simply put, there is no good reason to not explore animal assisted therapy for yourself or a loved one. No matter what you’re going through, a pet by your side will make a world of difference.

Of course, there are many things you can do besides hanging out with animals to help you along with your therapy. Different situations require different approaches. If you’re interested in some more insight into healing and wellness, read on.

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