Animal Therapy Research Paper

1745 Words7 Pages
Animal-Assisted Therapy

Presented to the administration at the
Department of State Hospitals – Atascadero

Proposal submitted by
Alexandra Serino, MS, ATR
Registered Art Therapist
Certified AAT Handler

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I. INTRODUCTION
II. METHODS OF ANIMAL-ASSISTED THERAPY
III. ANIMAL-ASSISTED THERAPY IN PSYCHIATRIC SETTINGS
IV. ANIMAL-ASSISTED THERAPY AT THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE HOSPITALS
V. CONCLUSION
VI. LESSON PLANS & ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTIVES
VII. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Acknowledgments

Introduction

While strolling along a popular boardwalk with my dog, Cheswick, I was quickly surrounded by a dozen people who wanted to pet him. Cheswick, however, focused on a distraught young
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Research has shown that interactions with animals have a positive impact on us both physically and emotionally. Physically, petting an animal has been shown to reduce risk for cardiovascular and chronic diseases, lowers blood pressure response to mental stress, and has a positive effect on the pain level a patient may experience. Emotionally, interactions with animals activates the Social Brain, also known as the Limbic System, common to all mammals, which is expressed in a need for connection to others (Sapolsky, 2015). Animals give us hope, understanding, love, and…show more content…
They ask no questions and they pass no criticism.” The idea behind AAT is that individuals struggling physically, mentally or emotionally, can benefit from an animal’s trusting and loving behavior because animals do not pass judgement and treat everyone the same, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. Thereby, animals model behaviors that individuals should demonstrate with each other. Research suggests that individuals who learn to be kind to animals have a better chance at developing empathy, self-esteem and social skills. The psychological problems for which AATs are used include schizophrenia, clinical depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum and a host of developmental
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