Posts Tagged 'animal assisted therapy'

Benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy| Therapy Dog in Broward County

I was just walking Bowie when someone asked me more about Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT).  I love explaining the benefits animals provide.  He was amazed at how well Bowie was adjusting to him and he asked a lot of questions.  I always welcome the questions because “knowledge is power” and AAT is a unique form of therapy that not everyone knows about or would consider a part of therapy.

Image

Here are some benefits of AAT:

  1. Clients are able to feel more at ease having an animal around, it brings anxiety levels down, therefore they are able to express themselves better.
  2. There is an outward focus bringing individuals out of themselves; animals can help individuals with low self-esteem focus on their environment.
  3. It helps develop a sense of nurturing with the animal as it promotes growth and development.
  4. It helps build rapport much quicker with both the therapist and the animal, building a relationship of mutual trust or a feeling of connection or bonding.
  5. There is a feeling of acceptance and approval; an animal’s acceptance is nonjudgmental, forgiving and unconditional.
  6. It helps with socialization by enjoying the company of others and establishing “likes” and “dislikes.”
  7. It provides mental stimulation, the presence of animals serves to brighten the atmosphere, increasing amusement, laughter and play.
  8. People desire physical touch and comfort and an animal provides that.
  9. There are physiological benefits in that many people are able to relax, showing a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, when animals are present.
  10. Research has found that therapists are more approachable and/or likeable when there’s an animal in the room. This helps clients, especially teenagers, to be more motivated and invested in the treatment process.
Advertisements

Animal Assisted Therapy in Broward County

Today I brought my dog, Bowie, to school.  Just like it’s important for people to learn and get further training in their field of work, Bowie is doing such.  Bowie is a certified therapy dog.  He started training at 3 months old, when he was only 4 pounds.  Now, at almost 2 years old and 30 pounds with a full coat, this gorgeous Wheaten Terrier helps others heal.

It is amazing to see him interact with children and adults.  They feel at ease to talk about their problems, and he senses when they are stressed.  People often ask, “How can he help?”  It’s hard to explain the natural interaction that occurs but people tend to open up when they start petting him.  He helps break the barriers and alleviate the client’s anxieties.  I do tell people he is a “kissy” kind of a dog, but you can’t help but fall in love with him.

Bowie has been in school for awhile now because it reinforces what he knows and helps with structure.  It is also great to see new people around him, his response, and to help spread the word on the importance that  animals have on one’s well-being.get-attachment-6

* If you are interested in having Animal Assisted Therapy as part of your session, please let me know.  It is available in Weston and Coral Springs.