At True Life Center, we understand that no two paths to healing are the same. We offer a variety of holistic therapies for individuals seeking to overcome addiction and mental health issues. One such therapy is pet therapy—a type of therapy involving animals that have been proven to be effective in many areas of psychological and emotional well-being. If you or a loved one are interested in pet therapy, our pet therapy program in San Diego, California may be able to help. Contact us at 866.420.1792 to learn more about our pet therapy and other treatment options.
What Is Pet Therapy?
Pet therapy, also referred to as animal-assisted therapy (AAT), is a type of therapy that involves the use of animals. While pet therapy is sometimes referred to as equine or canine therapy, any type of animal can be used in this form of treatment. Elements of pet therapy include:
- Interaction with the animal
- Stimulation and socialization
- Improved mood and self-esteem
- Enhanced communication skills
There are a number of different ways that pet therapy can be implemented. In some cases, therapists may bring animals into their offices to engage with clients one-on-one. Other times, animals may be brought into group settings, such as support groups or classrooms. There are also programs that bring animals and their handlers to nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and other facilities in order to provide therapeutic benefits for patients and students.
Benefits of Pet Therapy
There are several benefits of pet therapy. The following are some of the most notable:
1. Increased Self-Confidence
Pet therapy helps build self-confidence by teaching an individual how to care for an animal, which, in turn, can help them learn how to take better care of themselves. This can be especially helpful for those struggling with addiction or depression who may have trouble taking the initiative in their own recovery process.
2. Stress Relief
Animals provide unconditional love and companionship, which helps alleviate stress and anxiety levels. Research has shown that interacting with pets increases serotonin (the “happy hormone”) levels in the brain, thus creating a calming effect on both mind and body.
3. Improved Cognitive Functioning
Pet therapy helps improve cognitive functioning by allowing people to practice communication skills when interacting with their animal companions or therapist-led group activities involving animals. By engaging both emotionally and physically with the animal, individuals can enhance their problem-solving abilities while also developing healthier relationships with others around them.
4. Enhanced Emotional Support
Animals are nonjudgmental sources of emotional support—they listen without judgment or criticism—which is important for anyone struggling with emotional issues like depression or anxiety. Connecting with a pet can provide comfort during difficult times while helping individuals learn how to express their feelings more effectively through verbal communication or creative outlets like art or music therapy.
5. Motivation and Feelings Of Accomplishment
Whether learning how to groom a pet, teaching commands or tricks, or participating in therapeutic activities like agility courses, interacting with animals provides an opportunity for individuals to gain motivation and feelings of accomplishment as they work towards achieving common goals together with their animal companion(s). This increased sense of achievement leads to improved self-esteem, which is essential in any journey toward recovery from addiction or mental illness.
Discover Pet Therapy at True Life Center
At True Life Center in San Diego County, California we believe that every individual deserves access to quality care tailored specifically to their needs. This includes holistic therapies such as pet therapy, which are designed to help those struggling with addiction and mental wellness find the path back toward health and happiness again. If you’re looking for family therapy services, you can contact our team at 866.420.1792.