Animal-assisted therapy (AAT), also known as pet therapy or, since dogs are such a popular choice of therapy animal, canine-assisted therapy, is not actually an independent form of treatment. Rather, service animals are typically used alongside more conventional forms of psychotherapies, like cognitive behavioral therapy or contingency management, as a way to make those therapies more effective.
Research has consistently demonstrated the effectiveness of animal-assisted therapy in the treatment of a variety of contexts including the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Down’s Syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, and developmental disabilities. Animal-assisted therapy is thought to help with patients’ mental, emotional, and physical healing and growth.
Over the past several years, animal-assisted therapy has grown increasingly popular in the field of addiction treatment. It is believed that that the endorphins released when interacting with a service animal can help reduce some symptoms of withdrawal. The reduction in tension and improvement in mood that can result from animal-assisted therapy can make it easier for patients to open up during counseling sessions and may also help reduce the risk of relapse.
The Asana Recovery Center offers a supervised detoxification and residential treatment program that includes a variety of different therapy options for those struggling with a substance addiction. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our inspiring facilities and find out whether our comprehensive drugs and alcohol addiction treatment program is the right fit for you.