Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT)

Better Essays
Many programs developed for adolescents and young adults in treatment provide opportunities to form a bond with an animal, take responsibility for its care, and experience empathy and nonthreatening affection. Animals elicit a wide range of emotion and behaviors especially in human children (Hanselman 2001) concluded that Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) “increased feelings of happiness, security, and self-worth, and reduced feelings of loneliness, isolation, and stress” among a group of adolescents in an anger management group. Santana’s (1994) work with children receiving AAT showed that the children demonstrated improved mood and reduced levels of depression. Beck and Meyers (1996) also provided evidentiary support that through the interactions …show more content…
Helping veterans successfully reintegrate into civilian life has become a focus of both the military and private psychological services, as well as other community-based groups (Lanning and Krenek, 2003). One specific intervention that incorporates fellow veterans and leader support in the treatment is the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International Equine Services for Heroes program (known as the Horses for Heroes program). This unique program includes a horse as part of the treatment, with the goal to help wounded military service personnel and veterans improve both physically and mentally (Lanning and Krenek 2003). The mere exposure to positive, nonthreatening social interaction with fellow veterans and therapeutic riding instructors may provide an atmosphere of comfort and social support for the participants. When the participants were asked about how working with a horse was different than working with other therapists, they used terms such as “nonjudgmental,” “no expectations,” and “compassion” to describe the horse (Lanning and Krenek …show more content…
However, limited studies have been conducted in the veteran population and even less so in the pediatric population, with many articles anecdotal in nature. Primary outcome variables of decreased anxiety and pain are the most commonly reported results among both populations (Wedge, 2012). For example, although, it is thought that equine assisted therapy may be especially valuable for adults and children with autism spectrum disorders, few scholars have defined the theoretical bases of hippotherapy for adults with intellectual disabilities and even less about how psychological, physical, social and educational benefits can be achieved through hippotherapy with children with intellectual disabilities. Also, though hippotherapy treatment has been demonstrated to have therapeutic effects on children with cerebral palsy, the samples used in research studies have been very small. Further research studies are required to include the effects of AAT with children with different diseases, diagnoses and animal

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    their emotions? Animals, the vast majority being canines due to being domesticated and easily accessed and trained, have been used in hospitals, schools, prisons, and other settings for years in order to bring about a therapeutic change (Megan A. Souter & Michelle D. Miller, 2007). Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a type of therapy that uses trained animal interaction as a form of treatment to ameliorate an individuals physical, emotional, and social well-being. Interacting with an animal-whether playing…

    • 877 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Benefits of Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) Since man has had his first start, animals have been right along beside him, and for good reason. Animals are a way to bring out the emotion in people, they can make us calm, or happy, and even sad when we have to say our goodbyes. Therefore, naturally by adding them to a psychological part in medicine was a very good idea, and it is an idea that has been around for a long time. It is not just affecting people mentally but physically as well. There is…

    • 2332 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Animal Assisted Therapy

    • 2576 Words
    • 11 Pages

    patients should take care of animals through Dr. Levinson articles regarding his experiences that spurned research to this day into Animal-Assisted Therapy, patients have reaped the benefits. These benefits are both physiological as it relates to changes in the persons physical condition and psychosocial refers to changes in a person’s mental or emotional condition. Animals have the ability to continue to play an important part in the medical field. What is Animal Assisted Therapy and Does it Work? While…

    • 2576 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Animal Assisted Therapy

    • 1714 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Field observed that the impact of animal-assisted therapy on patients could be described by eight themes: motivation increases with animal interaction; patients benefit physically from animal interventions; reminiscence and alertness are promoted by interactions with animals; AAT enhances emotional well-being; improved social interaction was observed during AAT sessions; AAT presents opportunities for nurturing; patients partake in animal caretaking responsibilities; AAT creates a comfortable, ‘home-like’…

    • 1714 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Animal Assisted Therapy

    • 1601 Words
    • 7 Pages

    Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a fairly old practice, but it has just recently drawn a lot of attention and interest. The Delta Society (as cited by Nebbe, n.d.) defines animal-assisted therapy as the use of an animal in a goal oriented intervention. AAT is provided and documented by professionals. Furthermore, it is designed to promote advancements in social, emotional, physical, and/or cognitive operation (Nebbe, n.d.). It is also important to note that animal-assisted therapy should always…

    • 1601 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Best Essays

    Animal Assisted Therapy

    • 4009 Words
    • 17 Pages

    Animal Assisted Therapy Rachel Ann Rodriguez Candidate Number: 00243-014 May 2012 Word Count: 3636 Abstract Animal Assisted Therapy, a type of therapy that involves the use of different animals with specific characteristics, can be a natural aid in a patient’s treatment, as this approach successfully addresses a variety of physical, emotional, and psychological illnesses. Drug treatments and other means of healing are effective; however, they often have negative effects on the patient’s…

    • 4009 Words
    • 17 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Good Essays

    Animal Assisted Therapy

    • 353 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Animal-assisted therapy sprouted from the idea and initial belief in the supernatural powers of animals and animal spirits. First appearing in the groupings of early hunter gatherer societies. In modern times Animals are seen as "agents of socialization" and as providers of "social support and relaxation." [5] Though animal assisted therapy is believed to have began in these early human periods it is undocumented and based on speculation. The earliest reported use of AAT for the mentally ill took…

    • 353 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Animal Assisted Therapy

    • 3353 Words
    • 14 Pages

    Effects of Animal-Assisted Therapy Library Research Everybody has come into contact with an animal at one point or another in their life. Whether it is a family’s dog that wanders curiously around the house or a cat brushing up against the cage begging to be adopted at the pet store. Most people take these encounters for granted. They do not see the potential these animals could have and could one day turn somebody’s life around. Animals play a huge role in many people’s lives through animal-assisted…

    • 3353 Words
    • 14 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Animal Assisted Therapy

    • 2718 Words
    • 11 Pages

    The use of service dogs for children with ASD is a relatively new field. Dogs have provided animal assisted therapy (AAT) in conjunction with psychotherapy with positive outcomes for many years (Beck & Katcher, 2003). Animal therapy dates back to the late 18th century in England where the Society of Friends established York Retreat in the 1790’s as an alternative to the asylums of the day. Animals were used to help…

    • 2718 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy Throughout human history, “animals have occupied a central position in theories concerning the ontology and treatment of sickness and disease” (Serpell 16). Animals have played a major role in the lives of humans in ways that have affected our entire being and survival. Countless amounts of people, animals, and time have been put into bringing AAT all over the world; as a result, five other countries have adopted this form of therapy. The volunteers…

    • 2549 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Better Essays