Animal-Assisted Addiction Therapy in North West Indiana

Animal-Assisted Counseling of North West Indiana offers a supportive addiction therapy that utilizes specially trained dogs to aid people recovering from substance abuse disorders and other addictions. Interacting with our furry friends provides patients with unconditional love and comfort. By incorporating these amazing animals into individual and group counseling sessions, we create a judgment-free environment where people feel at ease opening up about their struggles. We motivate participants to adhere to their treatment plans while also reducing negative emotions like stress and anxiety. At Animal-Assisted Counseling of North West Indiana, we have seen the incredible healing power of the human-animal bond and want to share it with all people who are struggling with addiction.

Animal-Assisted Addiction Therapy in Chicago Banner
What Is Animal-Assisted Banner

What Is Animal-Assisted
Addiction Therapy?

Animal-assisted addiction therapy utilizes specially trained animals to help people recover from addictions, such as drugs, alcohol, or harmful behaviors. In our center, we work with certified therapeutic dogs - Sadie and Darling Louise. Their warmth and support create wonders. Our focus on dogs is driven by a deep love for these animals and their ability to help people heal.

During therapy sessions, which typically last 30-60 minutes, patients interact with Sadie or Darling Louise under the guidance of Dr. Julie or Kimberly. Spending time with the dogs teaches people responsibility, empathy, communication, mood enhancement, and relationship skills. Our furry friends also provide unconditional support, comfort, and acceptance to patients going through hard times. Overall, the therapy aims to utilize the human-animal bond to help facilitate the addiction recovery process.

Types of Treatments

Icon Substance Abuse Treatment

Having a dog present during substance abuse treatment can provide significant benefits for patients. Interacting with a friendly companion animal has been shown to lower stress and anxiety levels, which can aid the recovery from alcohol or drugs. Simply petting a dog releases oxytocin, which produces positive emotional effects. Our four-legged companions can also motivate patients to adhere to their treatment plans through the unconditional support and affection they provide. Overall, the inclusion of dogs is crucial to help people during their substance use disorder treatment.

Animal therapy can be an effective way to reduce addictive behaviors that are not related to alcohol and drugs. Interacting with dogs decreases negative emotions, provides comfort, and motivates patients to become better. For individuals struggling with gambling addiction, internet addiction, shopping addiction, or other compulsive behaviors, incorporating trained animals into traditional talk therapy and group counseling may improve treatment outcomes. The companionship and unconditional affection from the dogs can help to reduce the isolation many people struggling with addiction feel. This therapeutic alliance is really powerful.


Animal-assisted counseling also helps patients struggling with gaming addiction, training addiction, and work addiction. The bonding experience with canine co-therapists provides the social and emotional support that is often lacking in people with these compulsive tendencies. Feel-good hormones (like oxytocin and dopamine) can relieve withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with behavioral addictions. Having a furry companion to care for may also help to replace dysfunctional behaviors with more positive habits. Taking a canine co-therapist for walks or playing fetch provides a healthy distraction and routine for someone working to overcome addiction. Such animal therapy works best alongside counseling and support groups when recovering.

Types of Treatments Banner

Animal-Assisted Therapy Procedure

Candidates for Animal-Assisted
Addiction Therapy

Animal-assisted therapies are highly effective for treating substance use disorders and other addictions. However, they are not suitable for all people because some patients have phobias and other issues that can undermine the process. Here are some characteristics of candidates who may benefit from animal-assisted counseling:

Icon Willingness to Participate

Patients should express a willingness and openness to engage with canine co-therapists as part of their treatment program. This type of therapy might not be suitable or comfortable for all individuals. We determine whether our treatment fits the patient’s goals by assessing their desire to work with animals.

People considering animal-assisted therapy should demonstrate a commitment to achieving and maintaining recovery from substance abuse and other mental health disorders. This treatment can provide additional support but requires active participation and dedication from the patient. By assessing motivation levels, we determine if incorporating animals will enable or advance the person’s recovery journey.

Patients should be able to interact positively and safely with dogs. This includes not being allergic to animal fur or dander. Candidates should not have a history of fear, aversion, or violence toward animals. Patients’ comfort levels and existing experience with dogs are considered when determining if this type of therapy could be beneficial.

Candidates for Animal-Assisted Banner

Benefits of Animal-Assisted Therapy

Among different problems that can be treated with animal-assisted therapy, addiction is one of the most widespread. Luckily, it may be effectively addressed with our furry companions. We provide many benefits with our evidence-based treatment practices. Animal-assisted counseling:

Cost of Animal-Assisted Addiction Therapy in North West Indiana

The cost of animal-assisted addiction therapy in North West Indiana, ranges from $100 to $300 per session. The exact cost depends on the length and frequency of treatments. On average, practices with canine co-therapists charge $250 per one-hour session. To get an exact price quote for animal-assisted addiction therapy, patients should consult with Dr. Julie. She will develop a customized treatment plan and schedule the next appointment with our certified canine co-therapist. We accept a wide range of insurances, including Aetna, BCBS, Cigna, Health Link IL, and many others.

What Makes Our Animal-Assisted Addiction Therapy Different From Others?

Animal-Assisted Counseling of North West Indiana offers a compassionate environment for those seeking addiction treatment and mental wellness. Our team includes licensed therapists with certifications in dog-assisted counseling. We develop personalized treatment plans tailored to people's unique needs. Whether working with Dr. Julie and her canine companion Sadie or Kimberly and Darling Louise, patients find an unwavering support system dedicated to their healing journey. With our nurturing approach focused on uncovering inner resilience, Animal-Assisted Counseling of Indiana fosters the strength many people need to overcome addiction and embark on brighter, more fulfilling paths.

What Makes Our Animal-Assisted Addiction Therapy Different From Others? Banner