Thursday, August 29, 2013

Four Facts About Animal Therapy

Jonah's Place is marching full steam ahead into the hope filled future! Our final phase of development will include an Animal Assisted Therapy program (AAT) for at risk children and youth in our community. Here are four facts that you may not know about this very cool method of therapy:

1. They are not dependent on a specific theory. Animal-assisted therapy encompasses all types of psychology theories from psychoanalytic to behavioral. Amy McCullough, who is the American Humane Association’s National Animal-Assisted Therapy Director, explains that animal-assisted therapy is “utilizing an animal as an adjunct to a therapeutic process” regardless of theory. In general, AAT “becomes another tool in their tool kit for the type of therapy they practice.”

2. They are not service animals. Although often confused with service animals, there are significant differences between them. Service animals, for example, are protected by the American Disabilities Act, live with owners who have physical and emotional disabilities and assist them solely with daily living. In contrast, therapy animals work with professionals and clients.

3. They don’t just include dogs and horses. While you will most likely hear about dogs and horses, therapy animals run the gamut from llamas to dolphins.

4. They help individuals with a wide variety of causes and settings. Therapy animals assist therapists in helping clients with a multitude of goals such as improving self-esteem and developing social skills, as well as providing help for anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They also work in a wide variety of clinical settings from psychiatric hospitals to nursing homes.

Check out our site at for updates and to learn more about us!

(Facts excerpt from

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