The next time you visit a therapist, donít be surprise if thereís a dog in the room too. Psychotherapists are finding that animal assisted therapy really works.
enlisting dogs and cats to help treat patients of all ages suffering
from mood disorders, psychiatric illnesses, and even post traumatic
Why? Because playful, loving animals instantly help
people relax, so theyíre more open to treatment.
example, one psychologist we read about noticed major breakthroughs in
her patients when they petted a cat during therapy. Also, she says that
analyzing how a patient interacts with an animal allows her to dig into
their issues, in a non-confrontational way. For example, if a patient
gets upset that the cat won't sit in their lap, the psychologist uses
that reaction to start a conversation about neediness, and the problems
it might be creating in the patientís life.
assisted therapy also makes depressed patients more social, reduces
anxiety in patients with mood disorders, and reduces aggression and
improves attention span in kids with severe ADHD.
And itís not just therapists who are teaming up with animals.
trend is catching on with all types of doctors. Because studies show
that simply being in the same room with animals, even fish in tanks, can
lower blood pressure and reduce stress.
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