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What Is Animal Assisted Therapy?

Jan 10, 2008
Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is sometimes referred to as Pet Assisted Therapy. Basically it is a type of therapy that involves sharing the joys and therapeutic values of animal companionship, with both children and adults. AAT normally occurs in hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers, mental health facilities, senior care centers and special schools or organizations. It is designed to improve the physical, social and emotional functioning of a patient. in addition, AAT provides educational as well as motivational effectiveness for participants in the therapy.

Having a pet is something that many people take for granted. However there are people that need to have a pet in order to get through something that has happened in their life. Therapy pets help people just by visiting with them. Pets will enable patients to reach outside themselves and to put aside their fears of an uncertain future. Interacting with them makes us keenly aware of the present with all its joys and sorrow.

The animal assisted therapy program helps people in all age groups. There are plenty of people with disabilities that need to have some help that can only be provided by a pet as opposed to an individual person. Having a pet there to help them through the hard times will be beneficial, rewarding and nurturing for them. All kinds of animals are used in therapy, including dogs, cats, elephants, birds, dolphins, rabbits, lizards, and other small pets.

For both children and adults with special needs, the ability to interact with an animal can have a very positive impact upon their quality of life and inturn expedite their healing process. Interacting with a pet can sometimes change behavior, create a sense of responsibility and even improve a patient's ability to participate in therapeutic treatment. Children are often extremely trusting and easily reach a level of intimacy with animals that most adults will never reach.

If you have a pet and might be interested in animal assisted therapy, you should go online and find out what you can. In order to maximize the rewarding aspects of AAT it is critical to associate yourself with a responsible national organization with a strict and regimented evaluation process. Another benefit to be gained from a recognized organization is liability insurance is typically available at a nominal cost in case anything unforeseen should go wrong. There normally is cost for the evaluation test and an annual membership cost from $15.00 - $25.00 a year depending on the organization.

Animal Assisted Therapy is fun and safe and there are endless opportunities that you can use to make this something that will make you more excited and able to motivate yourself into the place that you want to be. It's a great idea for anyone that is looking to help patients the natural way without drugs or chemicals.
About the Author
For more information about Animal Assisted Therapy visit our comprehensive website at "The Layman's Guide to Animal Assisted Therapy"
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