Animals Have The Power To Heal
Where It All Started
According to Nadine Gourkow, amongst all of the different types of therapy that have appeared within recent years, pet therapy is perhaps one of the predominant therapy that relies on one of the oldest and most constant natural marvels; which is the close bond found between the human beings and animals. Pet therapy is referred to as therapeutic interventions by which activities are performed with the assistance of animals.
Since the nineteenth century, care institutions have used animals (dogs, cats, horses, birds) to heal mentally ill or traumatized people in order to improve their quality of life. It has been a recent discovery by Boris Levinson, a New York psychiatrist, who is credited with creating pet therapy.
At the end of the 1950s, Matthews’s parents brought him, a young, self-withdrawn, self-labeled, autistic boy, for a final medical opinion before their son was interned. Spirit, the psychiatrist’s dog, by chance in the office, approached the child. Matthew immediately came out of his autistic withdrawal and began to stroke the animal passionately. At the end of the session, in front of his astonished parents, Matthew asked to see the dog again. Peter then decided to receive the boy, assisted by Genie, noting an undeniable improvement. The psychiatrist decided to immediately involve dogs and cats to his sessions, thus inventing the psychotherapy assisted by animals.
The Main Purpose Of Pet Therapy
The help of pet therapist is priceless for patients, children or adults, that are physically handicapped, (injured, blind, hard of hearing, people suffering from neuromuscular disorders as well) or psychic (people with autism, psychiatric disorders, depression, eating disorders or self-image). It is increasingly used for cancer patients, because of the restorative image of the body, and for the elderly as it has great and positive effects on the memory. It is also used to encourage soldiers to gain socialization skills and young offenders, as well as to teach “difficult” children to control their emotions and to focus. It is also used within family therapy (being the brother or sister of a disabled sibling, resolving parent/child conflicts, overcoming trauma). In general, the presence of an animal is indeed therapeutic: it soothes, cheers up and encourages other to worry about someone other than oneself.
Cats, Dogs, And Lamas?
The animals of your choice must be natural, reassuring and be able to arouse curiosity. The dog, the cat, the horse, the donkey, the goat, the rabbit, and the hamster are the main performers when it comes to animal therapy. The dog has a particular relationship with human beings as he is both a companion to protect and a protector. Nadine will always attest to the fact that they are ideal supporters for predictions and inventions. According to the specialist, the dog awakens creativity, imagination, develops empathy and stimulates the people that are depressed.
Excellent antistress animals; the cat is often present with the elderly to whom he cheers and comforts on a regular basis. According to Jean-Yves Gauchet, purring improves the production of serotonin, which has a positive effect on mood and has a beneficial effect on blood pressure.
Finally, a new kid among the speakers in pet therapy: the lama, who seduces with its gentleness and patience; who would have ever thought.