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Animal Assisted Therapy


Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a highly effective treatment modality for individuals who suffer from issues such as generalized anxiety, social anxiety, phobias, depression and social isolation among many others. When combined with psychotherapy it is a powerful tool to enhance treatment.

Meet Charlie...

A two year old Golden Retriever with a huge heart and an abundance of energy. Charlie is a certified therapy dog through The Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc. and is a member of the Newton Strong Therapy Dogs. He has helped many people deal with anxiety and depression. He has accompanied phobic clients providing reassurance during exposure therapy. Charlie can offer a non-judgmental, supportive ear as well as a soothing presence in the therapy room. Clients are always thrilled when he is present and frequently request his services.

"AAT is a goal-directed intervention in which an animal that meets specific criteria is an integral part of the treatment process. AAT is directed and/or delivered by a health/human service professional with specialized expertise, and within the scope of practice of his/her profession.AAT is designed to promote improvement in human physical, social, emotional, and/or cognitive functioning [cognitive functioning refers to thinking and intellectual skills]. AAT is provided in a variety of settings and may be group or individual in nature. This process is documented and evaluated." (From Standards of Practice for Animal-Assisted Activities and Therapy) www.petpartners.org

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"Animal assisted therapy (AAT) uses trained animals to enhance an individual's physical, emotional and social well-being, thus improving self-esteem, reducing anxiety and facilitating healing....It can be used with most mind/body therapies that help with relaxation and calming the stress response - sometimes even during therapy itself - as long as conscious awareness is maintained." Dr. Andrew Weil, World-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine

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