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Pet Therapy By Niki Ferst. History The importance of animals in people’s lives has been recognized for centuries The contribution of animals to enhance.

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Presentation on theme: "Pet Therapy By Niki Ferst. History The importance of animals in people’s lives has been recognized for centuries The contribution of animals to enhance."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pet Therapy By Niki Ferst

2 History The importance of animals in people’s lives has been recognized for centuries The contribution of animals to enhance quality of human life has been documented, both formally and informally.

3 History Cont. York Retreat in England was the first recorded therapeutic setting where animals were utilized Boris Levinson and Jingles

4 Background Early pet therapy programs Program design Pet visitation Physical effects Hippotherapy

5 Background Cont. Measurable benefits What does Pet Therapy provide? Nurturance Caring for animals

6 Pet Therapy Pet Therapy popularity What do animals provide? Animals, counselors, and students

7 Why Pet Therapy? What does the presence of animals offer? Styles of therapy Pet Therapy sessions

8 Types of Animals There are many different types of therapy animals Most common are dogs, cats, & horses

9 Types of Animals Cont. Farm animals can be therapeutic as well as smaller or less common types of animals such as: Rabbits, Birds, Fish, Hamsters, & Llamas Each animal has specific skills & abilities to contribute to the therapeutic process.

10 What Should Educators Know? Social skills development & obedience training for the pet Therapy or activity skill training for the pet & handler Establishing & maintaining a positive relationship with educational & counseling staff Assessing the appropriateness of pet therapy with a particular student

11 What should Educators Know? Cont. Basic of zoonoses (transmittable diseases) & risk management Establishing & applying counseling or educational goals & interventions Assessing educational or therapeutic progress For the therapy animal obedience training is a must & should be well behaved & respond to the handler’s commands

12 Pet Therapy Counseling The presence of the animal can facilitate a trust-building bond between the therapist & student. When a student talks to the animal while the therapist listens is easier than talking to the therapist for more difficult issues. Animals often help students focus on an issue as they interact with the animal.

13 Pet therapy Counseling Cont. The animal may help student get in touch with feelings. Sharing these feelings with or about the animal can initiate the emotional sharing process with the therapist. For the student the animal is seen as a friend creating a safe atmosphere for sharing. The animal offers nurturance through a presentation of unconditional acceptance.

14 Common Mental Health Treatment Goals Improve socialization & communication reduce isolation, boredom, & loneliness brighten affect & mood, lessen depression, & provide pleasure & affection improve memory & recall address grieving & loss issues improve self-esteem, be presented with opportunities to succeed & feel important & improve feelings of self worth

15 Common Mental Health Treatment Goals Cont. Improve reality improve cooperation & attention, & increase engagement decrease manipulative behaviors improve expression of feelings reduce general anxiety reduce abusive behavior improve an ability to trust & learn appropriate touch

16 Interventions that Assist Previous Goals Practice teaching the animal something new engage in play with the animal & other types of appropriate interactions learn about & practice care, grooming, & feeding of the animal learn other information about the animal reminisce about the animal or past animals remember & repeat information about the animal to others

17 Interventions that Assist Previous Goals Cont. Take the animal for supervised walks receive & give appropriate affection & acceptance with the animal discuss how animals may feel in certain situations learn gentle ways to handle animals follow a sequence of instructions with the animal

18 Interventions that Assist Previous Goals Cont. Observe & discuss the animals response to human behavior interpret animal behavior as it happens generalize animal behavior to human circumstances

19 Animals in the Classroom Benefits to integrating Pet Therapy into the classroom: gaining knowledge about animals learning humane animal care motor & physical skill development through human-animal interactions animal training practicing discipline

20 Animals in the Classroom Cont. Incorporating an attitude of kindness & compassion learning about nurturance practicing loyalty & responsibility experiencing human-animal bonding learning responsible pet ownership

21 Other Benefits Pet therapy may be used to curb violence in the school Pets in the class can enhance humane attitudes towards animals & these more humane attitudes persisted in a one year follow up

22 Other Benefits Cont. A generalization from humane attitudes towards animals to human directed empathy Emotional connections made with animals can transfer to more empathic attitudes towards other persons.

23 Conclusion Pet therapy is a useful modality that can be easily incorporated into the school & counseling setting Animals in classroom & counseling sessions facilitate an atmosphere of trust, nurturance, & relationship building Animals actually help a person to focus on a task because of an interest in interacting with the pet.

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