The type of animals used in therapy at drug rehab centers can vary depending on the center. The most common animal used in any kind of therapy with humans is a dog. However, animals can range from dogs and puppies to cats and horses, and everything in between
There is tons of research on the benefits of using animals in therapy and what they can help their human counterparts achieve. If you’re wondering what a therapy animal is, read on to find out.
What is a Therapy Animal?
A therapy animal is used as part of therapy sessions to improve the outcome of therapy. The chosen animal is down to the therapy center but all kinds of animals have been proven to have positive effects on those going through therapy programs.
For patients in drug or alcohol rehab, a therapy animal can help to ease anxieties and decrease bouts of depression. In fact, there are many benefits to having therapy animals around, especially in intensive therapy programs.
Benefits of Animal-Assisted Therapy
Having an animal around during therapy can be the best kind of distraction for someone battling addiction. Here are some of the benefits of having a furry friend around.
Being around animals can improve mood. For rehab patients, this can go a long way toward developing positivity for the future. Dogs especially can help to reduce feelings of sadness and have a calming effect on patients.
For patients going through withdrawal symptoms or those who are particularly anxious, having a dog around can make a huge difference. One study showed that stroking a dog can significantly reduce the chances of having a heart attack.
Decrease Behavioral Problems
Rehab center pets have been found to reduce feelings of agitation and aggression in patients. These are often common feelings among patients who are going through drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Therapy animals are known to help reduce behavioral problems in general which increases the chances of a rehab program being more successful for the patient.
Increased Social and Physical Activity
Having an animal present in a rehabilitation center is a great way to encourage physical activity. Patients want to get up and engage with the animal which benefits their physical health. In turn, this also benefits their mental and emotional health.
Getting involved with the therapy animal also increases the likeliness of a patient socializing with other patients and staff. This increased interaction can lead to further support for the patient and reduces the likelihood of developing mental health problems during a treatment program.
Are You Looking For a Treatment Program?
At Louisville Addiction Treatment Center, we offer a wide range of rehab programs to suit your needs. These include outpatient programs, intensive outpatient programs, and partial hospitalization programs. We offer all the support you need to get back on track with your life and recover sustainably.
If you need information about any of our programs, contact us and one of our friendly members of staff will discuss your situation with you.