Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal Assisted Therapy for Substance Abuse Treatment

Animal-assisted therapy, also known as Equine therapy, is a therapeutic approach where patients are given opportunities to interact with dogs, cats, and horses in a controlled setting.

lady playing with dog

Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT)

Equine-assisted therapy focuses on teaching clients how to manage their behavioral and emotional responses by reading the horse’s responses. Each session helps clients improve their communication skills and reflect on their behavior because of the horse’s ability to read and mirror human emotions. This animal-assisted activity allows clients to improve their social interactions, self-management, and personal responsibility. 

Horses aren’t the only animal that create a therapeutic benefit. Canine therapy is one of the most popular methods of animal-assisted treatment. Therapy dogs make excellent companion animals, and caring for one creates responsibility and purpose.

Feline therapy offers excellent mental health benefits. Cats help to relieve loneliness, depression, and anxiety. For older adults, cats are also easier to take care of.

Animal Assisted therapy programs for substance abuse treatment are growing in popularity since animals make wonderful companions and bring mental health benefits to patients.

Animal Assisted Therapy for Addiction Recovery

Patients experience several therapeutic benefits by the inclusion of therapy animals in our evidence-based treatment practices. Animal-assisted therapy programs are meant to improve patient outcomes as the interactions with therapy animals enhance therapeutic healing, reduce the production of stress hormones, and increase the level of endorphins in the human body. In short, animal assistance increases patient adherence to their recommended treatment plan and motivates them for long-lasting addiction recovery.

Benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT)

There are numerous benefits associated with animal-assisted therapy sessions used in substance abuse treatments. Well-supported scientific studies reveal the efficiency of animal interactions in reducing the violent attitudes of psychiatric patients. This curbs the number of setbacks and advances speedy addiction recovery. Participating in pet therapy programs at Avatar Alcohol and Drugs Recovery Center provides patients with the following benefits:

  • Improved social and communication skills

  • Reduced anxiety

  • Lessening feelings of loneliness or isolation

  • Improved emotional comfort

  • Increased self-esteem

  • Decreased anger and depression

The health benefits listed above depict how animals can respond to humans in healing ways. Animal-assisted therapy programs provide you nonverbal support to subtle emotional cues. Animal assistance or pet therapy can also help patients struggling with mental health disorders improve their social skills. Animal-assisted therapy programs increase the success rate of rehabilitation treatments and have been proven to be effective in treating various conditions like:

  • Anxiety
  • Addiction
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Social Anxiety
  • Stress Reduction

  • Depression

Animal Assisted Therapy at Avatar

center substance abuse animal assisted content

Most rehab centers offer 12-step treatment programs, detox services, and routine group therapy sessions. Avatar Alcohol and Drugs Recovery Center, a residential care facility unlike any other facility in New Jersey, provides you several evidence-based treatment options for animal-assisted therapy. We believe the inclusion of therapy animals in our individualized treatment programs in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy will increase long-term recovery odds. To learn more about our professional animal-assisted therapies for addiction recovery or explore alternative treatment options, contact us today.

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