Animal Assisted Therapy

November 20, 2019

Discover Animal Assisted Therapy as a Mental Health Intervention

Ever notice that petting your furry friend makes you feel better?

We have too – it’s not just in your head.

Animal support is scientifically linked to improved patient outcomes across a broad range of psychological disorders. The benefits of being around a pet include reduced stress, lower levels of anxiety, and improved resilience.

When used in therapeutic settings, animal interventions for mental health can be beneficial in achieving specific patient goals. That’s why animal assisted therapy is an increasingly popular treatment option for a wide variety of patients.

How Does Animal Assisted Therapy Work?

A trained therapist can introduce pet therapy to improve many types of disorders including:

  • PTSD
  • Addictions and substance abuse
  • OCD
  • ADHD
  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Mood disorders

This is just to name a few.

Although the subject requires more research, animal assisted therapy has been shown to help patients in several different ways, depending on the treatment goals.

For example, people with anxiety and mood disorders experience an improved ability to cope with psychological stressors simply by being in the presence of an animal. It is thought that the animals help people stay grounded rather than get carried away by intrusive thoughts. This is because animals exude a non-judgmental depth of consciousness that can be felt by humans, which offers an opportunity for better feelings to surface.  

Alternatively, it has been suggested that emotional pet support allows a greater bond to be established between the therapist and the patient, thus improving the overall therapeutic experience.

Are Animal Interventions For Mental Health Right For Me?

At GameFace Sports Consulting, animal assisted therapy is used to complement traditional therapeutic methods. Horses, dogs, and cats are incorporated as holistic treatment tools to assist patients in achieving their goals.

As one of the first-ever animal-assisted therapists in the US to be PESI certified for feline usage, we are happy to provide onsite introduction of animal therapy to assist with all types of emotional disorders across diagnoses.