GENERAL COURSE DESCRIPTION
Animals have been aids to humans for centuries. In our modern times we have now chosen to utilize them as helpers in the psychotherapeutic process. While much of the research on animal assisted therapy is qualitative and full of personal description, researchers are now beginning to study the use of animals in a quantitative manner. Research with animals as psychotherapy assistants suggests that humans show signs of reduced stress, fear and anxiety, and increased calmness and comfort when the right animal is present. Animal assisted therapy, as a complementary therapy, has been beneficial to both children and adults in individual and group settings.
Animal assistants come in all shapes, sizes, types, and breeds. Animal assisted therapy is being used within many populations including but not limited to at-risk youth, children with language delays, geriatrics, victims of violence, wounded warriors, and those with varied mental conditions (autism, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, substance dependence, mood disorders, and psychotic disorders). Overall, animals in a psychotherapy situation can enhance trust, prompt thoughts of safety, promote emotional expression, encourage the use of appropriate social skills, and empower clients.
This is a one CE credit, brief introductory course on animal assisted therapy comprised of two short videos and an article. The videos demonstrate how the presence of a canine enables a child to attend to a current researcher in the field. The article further describes the benefits of an animal assistant when matched with specific psychotherapy theories. Additional resources are provided for further exploration on this topic.
- Describe some of the primary uses of an animal in a psychotherapy situation.
- Review the benefits of animal assisted psychotherapy.
Introduction & History
- Animal assisted therapy with a substance dependent population
Applications of Animal Assisted Therapy
- Counseling theories commonly matched with animal assisted techniques and interventions
References & Resources
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