Tuesday Therapy Notes: Therapy Pets

We all love our pets. I know I have talked before about how therapeutic my cat, Ginny, can be. Yet it isn’t just an informal thing, but an actual form of therapy.

Research shows that therapy pets can be good at reducing levels of anxiety. Ginny is kind of an amateur at this (she is cute, but when she walks across my keyboard, it does not reduce my anxiety at all. It is kinda the opposite in fact). However, there are animals that are specifically trained as therapy animals.

And the fact that the research supports their effectiveness is also why my law school would contract for therapy dogs to be on campus every finals week. It is why hospitals use them with patients who are in recovery. And beyond these groups, there is one group in particular that benefits from therapy animals. Veterans.

Veterans battling PTSD can find real benefit from the services of a therapy pet, also sometimes called an emotional support animal. While therapy pets certainly aren’t the only beneficial treatments for individuals battling PTSD, they can offer them therapeutic companionship that can be very beneficial, especially when complimenting some of the other treatment options out there.

And just a note, while I talk about the therapeutic side of Ginny cat, she is not a trained service animal. If you are interested in having a therapy pet or emotional support animal, talk to your therapist or to organizations that specialize in service animals to find out more about how you can get a therapy pet. And as always, thanks for reading.

I am not a therapist, and Ginny cat is not a therapy cat. Yet we still hope these posts are helpful, or at the very least more helpful than laying on my keyboard…

Source: NAMI -Types of Psychotherapy

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