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Animal Assisted Therapy in Miami

Few things in life can be more rewarding than the relationship you can have with an animal. It is a constant meditation of what unconditional love looks like and what it means to take care of a living being who depends solely upon you. This is a story that has been recreated throughout the ages, as man and animal have found companionship with each other for millennia. We have relied on domesticated animals for many of our needs, whether that was helping us with the physical burdens necessary for hunting or farmer, protecting us if we were in danger, lightening our emotional burdens, or just simply showing us love.

To realize the depth of our bond with animals you need look no further than any history book. Depicted in the earliest known cave paintings, drawn by those ancestors of our civilization, is our relationship with animals. The mere fact that these ancient peoples took what precious little time and resources they had and spent it drawing animals speaks volume to the importance that these animals had in their lives, and by extension our histories. Pets are a part of our culture as a civilization and to this regard, their positive effects on our physical and mental well-being have been well documented throughout the centuries.

This notion of the animal as therapy has led in more recent years to studies being done on the benefits of animal-assisted therapy. These studies were performed in order to attempt to synthesize what exactly the benefits of animal assisted therapy were, and to find out what setting, and with which domesticated animals produced the best therapeutic results.

" This notion of the animal as therapy has led in more recent years to studies being done on the benefits of animal-assisted therapy. "

When many people think of animal assisted therapy they immediately think of guide dogs helping those who are visually impaired cross the street. This however, is only one facet of what animals can bring to the table in terms of their therapeutic value. Pets can help people with a variety of issues, including any number of physical, mental, and emotional challenges. For example assistance animals can help persons suffering from anxiety and PTSD, as well as those with mobility issues, hearing impairments, and seizure disorders.

Dogs are not the only animals that have been shown to help in a therapeutic setting, but there is a growing amount of clinical research showing the validity of using horses in at-risk populations and with children with autism. The research states that horses are “perfect mirrors, since they are very emotional beings” which allows those interacting with them to experience almost human like interactions with something other than a human. It also allows those who are taking care of them to learn responsibility and a number of other important skills that are translatable to producing therapeutic results.

As more studies are done, it is becoming clearer and clearer that animals not only occupy a very important place in human history, but also in the future of human healing and overall health.

The Special Bond Between Humans and Animals

What is it about the bonds that humans and animals have that sometimes allows an animal to make a connection with a suffering individual when no other person can? How are these animals able to reach someone, like a suffering and emotionally shut off addict or alcoholic? The answer seems to be the unconditional and non-judging love that sometimes only an animal can provide. Animals don’t care what you look like, how much you weigh, what you’ve done in your past, or what job you have. They just allow you to be you and love you regardless of how you feel about yourself.

Many drug addicts and alcoholics carry around an extreme amount of guilt and shame with them. They are constantly berating themselves for their lack of control and the things that they do while they are out there, and because of this they find it very hard to get close to people for fear of rejection and judgment. With an animal they do not need to fear this rejection and so it is much easier for a drug addict or alcoholic to develop a bond. Since all human beings crave companionship, animals can fill this role for the drug addict and alcoholic, allowing them to feel loved and needed, without fear of reprisal. This is one of the most important aspects of animal assisted therapy, or pet therapy, in that it reintroduces the once jilted addict or alcoholic to the healing powers of feeling connection.

How Does Animal Assisted Therapy, or Pet Therapy, Help The Addict?

When a person enters rehab, they often experience intense anxiety, feelings of loneliness, sorrow, anger, and depression. Addiction is an isolating disease that is physically, emotionally, and mentally draining. People arrive in recovery with brains that have been altered by chemical abuse, chronic stress and trauma. This means that people entering into recovery often feel and look like a shadow of their former self, and many not even be able to remember what they felt like before they became addicted. In order to overcome this, healing must occur and at Holistic Recovery Centers we employ every possible means to make this healing happen.

Interacting with animals can help promote healing through a reduction in anxiety and depression, while also allowing for the newly sober person to relearn to create connection. It is often said that self-esteem is built through esteemable acts, and many who enter into recovery have had their self-esteem crushed. What better way to rebuild self-esteem then through learning to care for an animal, building trust in yourself, by being able to truly care for another living being.

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What Does The Animal Assisted Program at Holistic Recovery Centers Include?

Our animal assisted therapy program at Holistic Recovery Centers recognizes that the presence of animals, in particular dogs, in a therapeutic setting can increase the benefits and results of said therapies. This is why we make use of dogs in one on one and group therapies on a regular basis. Imagine being in a therapy session where you and your therapists are working through some very heavy issues. At times you want to pull back because it seems just too uncomfortable to move forward. Now imagine that while you are navigating these parts of your mind, there is a beautiful dog beaming up at you from the floor, reassuring you that life is okay and that you are not only worthy of love and healing, but that you deserve all the good things that life have to offer. This may sound a bit cheesy, but it is something that we all want, and almost no one can deny the happiness and love of a dog.

Our animal assisted, or pet therapy, is not limited to dogs, but also includes Equine Therapy. If you are interested in more information about this program please visit our section on Equine Therapy.

Find recovery today at holistic recovery centers

Enjoy The Benefits Of Animal Assisted Therapy At Our Quality Drug Rehab

If you are struggling with addiction and are ready to make a change, then you want the very best in treatment, with therapies that get results. At Holistic Recovery Centers, we have designed programs that help our clients overcome addiction and promote growth and healing. Call us today at 877-723-7117 to find out more and schedule a free, confidential assessment.

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