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ANIMAL ASSISTED THERAPY

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Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a goal-directed intervention in which an animal that meets specific criteria plays an integral role in the treatment process.

AAT is designed to promote improvement in human physical, social, emotional and cognitive function.

Animals, particularly dogs, are being incorporated into many health settings including psychology, counselling, occupational therapy and physiotherapy, and educational settings like school classrooms.

Over the years, research investigating the positive impact that the human-animal bond can have on people of all ages has grown significantly. Animals by nature are non-judgmental and show unconditional love, and in doing so they help to build and strengthen the rapport between therapist and client. Research has also shown that including animals in the therapeutic process can help reduce anxiety, increase relaxation, increase social interaction, increase communication within sessions, as well as act as an intrinsic motivator to attend sessions and engage with the process.

 

AAT is particularly effective for supporting clients to build social and communication skills, by using an animal's body language to provide direct feedback about behaviour, emotions, comfort levels and communication styles. It is also effective in supporting attachment and relational interventions, and in helping reduce arousal levels when working through trauma responses.

 

Our clinic dog Tully is working towards his accreditation as a therapy dog and is looking forward to showing off his skills in sessions very soon.

 

If you are interested in AAT, contact us to find out more or to join our waitlist. AAT will be accessible under Medicare, NDIS, and private fees.

For further information about AAT, see:

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