Maybe you have been on airplane lately pondering on whether someone really needs to bring their dog onboard, or even their pet peacock, as an “emotional support” animal. People have been known to handle stressful situations better, including turbulent plane rides, with the help of an animal that they receive good energy from. Studies have been shown that animal therapy works with people that have an addiction in more ways than one.
The two types of animals that have been noted as the most beneficial for animal-assisted therapy (AAT) are canines and horses. Both animals have been used for AAT because they have shown to be more relatable to human behavior. Using animals for therapy with treatment can help people deal with their addictions and mental health disorders that lead to more positive outcomes with long-term recovery.
- Increases motivation
- Promotes a better attitude
- Minimizes stress
- Lowers symptoms of depression
- Reduces anxiety
- Improves focus on recovery
- Boosts problem-solving through giving dog commands
- Magnifies communication skills by giving dog commands
- Helps to relate to others
- Stabilizes mood during detoxification
- Companionship helps with loneliness
- Excellent model for healthy relationships
- Moderates human behavior through honest feedback from the horse
- Personal relationships are mirrored from response to the horse
- Builds faith on reading nonverbal cues with the horse
- Horses need respect that trickles down to the therapist
- Trust must be built with the horse from the human and vice versa
Based on the biophilia hypothesis, humans at one time depended on naturistic and animalistic gestures as a means of survival. Animal biofeedback that comes with animal-assisted therapy prompts a positive outcome for those that are recovering from mind-altering substances. Public horse stables and canine-assisted therapists have started to make partnerships more frequently with local rehabilitation facilities by using the animals to help persons with addiction try a more holistic approach to therapy. Using the animals in therapy makes a person that was caught up in their selfish ways in addiction turn around and care for an animal and discover their nurturing side for themselves and others.
Using AAT to alleviate the difficulty of getting sober can advocate increased calmness with a slower heart rate. Using animals as a source of mind and body connection can better control any triggers or cravings that can pop up at any time without proper recovery tools. Animal-assisted therapy can be a great way to implement the necessary recovery tools that can help prevent a relapse.
If you are someone you know is struggling with drugs and alcohol, Serenity Oaks Wellness Center can be your source to find a way to stay sober. Our 12-Step aspects and holistic therapy combined can show you how to adorn your soul in recovery.
Call us today: 855-652-2683