Animal-Assisted Therapy

If you have ever bonded with an animal, you already understand the therapeutic benefits an animal can have in your life.  Haven offers Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) as way to support and assist our patients in reaching their goals.

Psychology Today defines AAT as “a therapeutic intervention that incorporates animals, such as horses, dogs, cats, pigs and birds, into the treatment plan.”   AAT has shown positive benefits in the treatment of depression, schizophrenia and addiction.  Improved mood, lowered anxiety, reduced feelings of loneliness and sadness and enhanced positive social interactions are some of the advantages of AAT.

AAT helps patients with mental health issues or other behavioral difficulties by stimulating the senses through the sense of touch and developing a bond with the animal.  Patients’ symptoms of anxiety or irritability have shown to decrease when petting an animal. Though there have not been many research studies on the benefits of AAT, Psych Central says that one report showed a decrease in stress hormones and an increase in hormones that increase mood and socialization after only 20 minutes with a therapy animal.

Therapy animals can be a comfort by being a companion to ease loneliness, a friend to confide in or something to look forward to during treatment.  Animals do not judge but bring joy to those they meet and, with innovative therapy options like Animal-Assisted Therapy, they are bringing comfort and calm to those in need.



Animal-Assisted Therapy
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Animal-Assisted Therapy
For patients who would like options to enhance their traditional treatment plan, alternative therapies such as animal-assisted therapy are popular.