When you think of Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT), what comes to mind? Probably dogs, right? Dogs are the most common type of animal used in Animal Assisted Therapy, but they're not the only one. Any animal can be used in AAT, as long as it is calm and has been trained to help people with anxiety or other mental health issues.
AAT can be used to help people with anxiety disorders, mood disorders, panic disorders, and so much more. Animal Assisted Therapy is not only limited to dogs; any animal can undergo training to provide emotional support (ES). In addition, Animal Assisted Therapy has also been found helpful in lessening depression, anxiety, and even PTSD symptoms in individuals. Animals who are trained to be calm and absorb tense energy can help so much with the therapeutic process. AAT is a relatively new field, but it is already helping countless people all over the world.
Just a couple of benefits:
- AAT can help people who are afraid of animals to overcome their fear.
- AAT has been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rate.
- AAT can help people who are grieving by providing comfort and companionship.
If you're a therapist who is interested in learning more about how to use animals in therapy, there are plenty of resources available online. Just do a quick Google search and you'll find tons of information. There are countless Animal Assisted Therapy organizations all over the world. If you're interested in trying out AAT, or if you just want to learn more about it, please visit one of these websites:
- The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
- Animal Assisted Therapy International (AATI)
- Pet Partners
If you think AAT could help you or someone you know, don't hesitate to reach out to a therapist who offers this type of therapy. It could be just what you need to start feeling better!
What do you think of Animal Assisted Therapy? Have you ever tried it? Let us know in the comments below! And don't forget to share this post if you found it helpful!
I hope this helps start the process of learning more abut AAT.
- Zachary Dodson, MA, CCHt, LMHC
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