What is animal assisted Therapy

What is Animal assisted Therapy?

Animal Assisted therapy

how does animal-assisted therapy work

Animal Assisted Therapy Counseling (AATC) is a type of therapy that integrates an animal into the therapy counseling session to increase the well-being of the client.  The types of animals used in animal assisted therapy can vary from horses to mice. Animal Assisted Therapy Counseling can be a formal structured  activity or informal allowing the animal and client to interact naturally.

Animal Assisted Counseling of Indiana incorporates a Canine Therapy Partner into the counseling session using a client centered approach to help the individual develop a better, healthier way to live. Below are some facts and questions to help you better understand what client-centered animal assisted therapy counseling is all about.

facts:

  • Client-centered animal-assisted therapy counseling is a type of therapy that integrates animals into the counseling process. Animals can include dogs, cats, horses, and other animals.
  • This type of therapy is based on the principles of client-centered therapy, which is a humanistic approach to therapy that emphasizes the importance of empathy, unconditional positive regard, and the client’s subjective experience.
  • Animal-assisted therapy has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.
  • In client-centered animal-assisted therapy counseling, the animal is considered an active participant in the therapy process. The animal can help facilitate a deeper connection between the client sense of self and the client and therapist relationship.
  • The use of animals in therapy is not a new concept. Animals have been used in therapy for centuries, and the practice has become more widespread in recent years.

Questions:

  • What is client-centered animal-assisted therapy counseling?

Client-centered animal-assisted counseling is a type of therapy that integrates animals into the counseling process. The therapy is based on the principles of client-centered therapy and emphasizes the importance of empathy, unconditional positive regard, and the client’s subjective experience.

  • What types of animals can be used in client-centered animal-assisted therapy counseling?

Dogs, cats, horses, and other animals can be used in client-centered animal-assisted counseling. The type of animal used will depend on the client’s preferences and needs. Animal Assisted Counseling of Indiana incorporates a canine therapy partner into therapy session to help adults, teens, children, families and couples

  • What are the benefits of client-centered animal-assisted therapy counseling?

Client-centered animal-assisted counseling has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. The animal can also help facilitate a deeper connection between the client’s sense of self and the client and therapist relationship.

  • Is client-centered animal-assisted therapy counseling a new concept?

No, the use of animals in therapy is not a new concept. Animals have been used in therapy throughout history, and the practice has become more widespread in recent years.

  • How is the animal incorporated into the therapy process?

The animal is considered an active participant in the therapy process. The therapist will work with the animal to help facilitate a deeper connection between the client and therapist. The animal may also be used to help the client feel more comfortable and relaxed during the therapy session.

  • Can Animal-Assisted therapy Counseling be beneficial for individuals with depression and anxiety?

Yes, AATC can be helpful for individuals suffering with depression and anxiety in the following ways:

  • Promotes Relaxation: The presence of an animal can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation, which can be especially beneficial for individuals with anxiety.
  • Enhances Emotional Awareness: Animals can help individuals develop a deeper understanding of their emotions and how they are feeling. This increased emotional awareness can help individuals better manage their symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Improves Social Skills: Interacting with an animal can improve social skills and help individuals feel more comfortable in social situations.
  • Provides Non-Judgmental Support: Animals provide non-judgmental support, which can be especially beneficial for individuals who feel judged or misunderstood by others.

Traditional Counseling Facts and Questions

  • How do I know Counseling is right for me?

When problems or life becomes difficult and you no longer feel like you can muddle through, or your emotions are directing your behavior can be a sign that counseling would be good for you.  If you are feeling tired, isolated, sad, or overwhelmed counseling would be good for you.  If you have thoughts that continue to spiral, if you have difficulty shutting down or sleeping at night counseling would be good for you.  

If your relationships are difficult and not fulfilling counseling would be a good fit for you. If you are not sure if counseling would be good for you, it is always best to error on the side of caution and schedule an appointment to talk with someone.  You never lose by taking care of yourself and you always have the option of stopping once you feel like you got what you needed

  • How do I know if my child needs Counseling?

If you are seeking out answers about how to support your child it is most likely that they can benefit from counseling.  If they are acting out, isolating, becoming victim to bullying, failing at school they would benefit from counseling.  If they are fighting at home, getting angry, crying a lot they would benefit from counseling. If they are feeling overwhelmed and unable to keep up with requests or personal responsibilities they would benefit from counseling.  You are the best resource your child has. If you think they need help please don’t hesitate, it will only prolong and exacerbate their difficulties while hindering your relationship with them.

  • How long will it take?

That question is very common but one of the most difficult to answer.  Everyone is different and comes to counseling with different concerns and backgrounds so the timeline is individual.  The initial contact in counseling is normally gathering information and developing a therapeutic flow that can take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks.  Time spent in counseling after that is based on the individual.

  • What will I have to do in Counseling?

Counseling sessions are used to process current difficulties through self-exploration, behavior modification, and cognitive restructuring.  This is done through dialogue, and activities.  These things can be done both in session and out of session according to your therapist direction. It is important to note that counseling is a relationship encounter between you and your therapist to enhance your goals and well-being.  Even though exploration and activities occur in session a lot of the “aha” moments and behavior practice is done outside of the session in your real life.

  • Should I just take medication?

Medication is used to help control or decrease physical presenting symptoms it does not fix, change, or resolve what is going on with you.  That takes counseling.  Working with a Therapist to discover what the root cause is and develop coping skills in counseling has been shown to be the most effective way to address emotional and behavioral difficulties.

  • Can I handle this on my own?

Of course, you are the only one who can answer that but if your difficulties are affecting how you function socially, professionally, when you are alone, or in your intimate relationships it is best to talk with a professional who can help you work through what is happening so you can live your best life now.

  • Can’t I just talk to my best friend or family?

Talking with friends and family is good but not the same as counseling treatment.  Counseling professionals have been trained to understand and respond to your concerns is a way that will lead to you changing your thoughts and/or behaviors.  Venting to someone you feel close with can also run the potential of ruining that relationship.  While talking with a counseling professional will help you develop a better sense of self and enhance the relationships that are important in your life.

  • My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?

If you are concerned about your relationship, and both of you are willing to work with me, it would initially be best to work with both of you together. After our initial work we could then decide if one of you would like to continue in individual sessions. It is best to move from couples to individual sessions due to trust issues.

These are just some of the questions we get asked.  If you have any other questions please feel free to contact us by calling or texting  (219) 213-6009 or you can email contact@animalassistedcounseling.net.

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