Healing Powers From An Unexpected Source

2285 words - 10 pages

Healing Powers from an Unexpected Source
Animals have been a human’s companion for many centuries to provide peace and calm; however the use of animals in a structured therapy environment is a new type of idea that has been researched. Using animals as a healing source is animal therapy, which can be used as aids for many types of people. Whether it be a dog, cat, bird, rabbit, or even a horse, all types of animals can be trained to help the emotional and physical health of many in simple and extraordinary ways. The use of animal therapy with highly trained animals can benefit the emotional and physical health of a variety of people, including children, elderly, and individuals with unique ...view middle of the document...

in Pichot and Coulter 15). An example of an Animal Assisted activity could be bring dogs into a school classroom, going to a public park with therapy animals, having trained dogs visit children in a hospital, or any event with a trained animal. The benefits can be extraordinary with an activity using animals but can be poorly suited for a person who may be extremely stressed in public events or does not fare well with an overwhelming excitement of a public event. These type of individuals would be better accommodated in a one on one therapy session with an animal used as an aid.
These types of individuals in a private therapy situation are using the other type of animal therapy which is officially called Animal Assisted Therapy or AAT. Animal Assisted therapy is tailored to one specific person in a meeting with a therapy professional with the aid and assistance of an animal. The animal, usually being a dog, is used to treat a client on a personal level and is used as a tool in a session of therapy. An example of AAT is having a dog for a client to stroke in a therapy session to relax and have the person be more open and trusting of the therapist they are working with. The aid of animals in therapy can be used to help treat emotion issues as well as physical issues in the types of therapy the animal is used with.
Before an animal can be used in any type of therapy situation, it must be trained to specifically respond to certain situations calmly and not hinder a client’s betterment. Especially when using dogs, most of the time untrained animals are not acclimated to reactions of children especially if a child suffers from problems of hyperactivity. These type of children could scare a dog who has not been trained. In CNN’s article “Therapy dogs: ‘Perfect medicine to help students survive finals” one of the trainers, Susan Dansbury, with the animal service organization Canine Assistants explains to a student the training dogs go through to become certified, “…the dogs learn about 90 commands before they can become certified… the volunteers get a list of sounds and environments the dogs must learn… anything to ensure they can be calm” (Christensen 2). The training of an animal is pertinent for therapy or animal activities to be effective. It is not beneficial to have a nervous animal when trying to create a calming situation.
An animal can be used in both Animal Assisted activities and therapy to help with emotional and mental issues that many suffer from. Many animals can be used with patients struggling with diseases of any type of terminal sicknesses also. These types of people with sickness, like cancer, struggle with having a positive attitude and feel very lonely and deep emotions. The Cancer Center website promotes animal therapy as a way to help with individuals struggling with the hardships of cancer “Animals provide unconditional love, and for many who are experiencing complex emotions or battling serious illness, this warm feeling of...

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