Essay about Benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy

2536 Words Nov 14th, 2012 11 Pages
Angelica Carlos

English 4

19 March 2012

Benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy

Throughout human history, “animals have occupied a central position in theories concerning the ontology and treatment of sickness and disease” (Serpell 16). Animals have played a major role in the lives of humans in ways that have affected our entire being and survival. Countless amounts of people, animals, and time have been put into bringing AAT all over the world; as a result, five other countries have adopted this form of therapy. The volunteers and workers of Animal Assisted Therapy have pushed to bring an exciting new therapy to children and adults all around. Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a familiar method of treatment and
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“In the mental health area, it improves attention, concentration, and self-esteem reduces anxiety and loneliness, improves verbal interaction, and develops recreation and leisure abilities.”(Zasloff 1994) AAT promotes cognitive development in a patient, which is an important for normal societal function. “Educationally, it improves vocabulary, as well as long and short term memory. Motivationally, the presence of an animal increases the desire for joining in group and social activities, and improves interaction with others. It is applied both in groups and individually” (Zasloff 1994). The use of various animals is not uncommon in animal-assisted therapy: dogs, cats, birds, horses, dolphins, rabbits, lizards, and other small animals. However, dogs are the most frequently used animals because of their training and sociability skills. “Many times children will tell things to an animal that they feel uncomfortable telling to an adult or therapist” (Bloomquist). Animals give off a relaxing feeling and allow the child to feel more comfortable and open. The child will be more trustworthy of the animal and can talk about anything without feeling judged. Every human has a story to share, and the animal is just easier to share it with. People in

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