What is Animal-assisted therapy?

What is Animal-assisted therapy?

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a type of therapy that involves animals as part of the treatment process. The goal of AAT is to help people improve their physical, social, emotional, and cognitive functioning through interactions with animals.

During an AAT session, a therapist works with a trained animal, typically a dog or a horse, and their handler. The therapist and animal work together to engage the patient in activities that help them meet their therapy goals. These activities might include petting, grooming, walking, or playing with the animal.

AAT has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The presence of an animal can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and increase feelings of well-being.

It’s important to note that AAT is different from service animal therapy, in which an animal is trained to assist a person with a specific disability or condition. AAT is a more general form of therapy that can benefit people of all ages and abilities.

Shervan K Shahhian

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