Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Pets
  3. Dogs

Animal-assisted therapy makes its mark in the world of psychiatry

See also

Therapy dogs aid humans with several types of disabilities both mental and physical. Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a type of treatment where "trained animals facilitate patients' progress toward therapeutic goals" (Barker and Dawson, 1998). Non-human animals are used in multiple settings to change the lives of those in need. A 2006 study, conducted by Anke Prothmann, Manuela Bienert and Christine Ettrich, found a significant increase in the general "state of mind" of patients participating in AAT compared to those receiving treatment as usual.

Patients were separated into two groups: AAT group and treatment as usual group. The Basler Befindlichkeits-Skala (BBS) test was administered to both groups before and after each treatment. The BBS measures vitality, intra-emotional balance, social extraversion and alertness (Prothmann et al., 2006). Patients who received animal-assisted therapy showed a greater level of vitality, intra-emotional balance, social extraversion and alertness.

Non-human animals give unconditional love and provide humans with a bond that cannot be described in words. The light that illuminates from the presence of a dog, cat or any non-human animal is pure innocence. Humans are taught to care and love whereas non-human animals already know how.

References

Barker, S., & Dawson, K. (1998). The effects of animal-assisted therapy on anxiety ratings of hospitalized psychiatric patients. Psychiatric Services, 49(6), 797-801

Prothmann, A., Bienert, M., & Ettrich, C. (2006). Dogs in child psychotherapy: Effects on state of mind. Anthrozoos, 19(3), 265-277

Advertisement

Life

  • Dan Savage
    Dan Savage cares about LGBT youth, bullying and saving lives
    Today's Buzz
  • Raku
    Teachers and students can use this summer to learn a new skill
    Camera
    15 Photos
  • Beach body
    Fitness: Earn your beach body badge with bootcamp classes
    Camera
    10 Photos
  • Greek wine
    Unwind with these delicious wines: The thrilling wines of Greece
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Mandy Moore
    Exclusive interview with Celebrity Mandy Moore concerning animal activism
    Camera
    5 Photos
  • Educational family vacations
    Find out how to take an educational family vacation that doesn't break the bank
    Camera
    9 Photos

Related Videos:

  • Nancy Johnson
    <iframe width="600" height="337" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ht79GMd53ZM?VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Hip Dysplasia in German Sherpherds
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/anuw6WwfyzE?VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Pampering our pets
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518071945" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518071945&autoStart=true"></div>