Animal Therapy Research Paper

Good Essays

Foo Robson
K. Goldsmith
Exhibition Paper
23 February 2017
Pet Doctor
Your next therapist could be living with you already! I am not referring to a relative who could easily get a degree, I am talking about that fur-ball running around your house. Humans rely on animals for food and companionship. Animals are so much more though. They have become a source of healing for people. It is not just service dogs for the blind; dogs can help with PTSD, cats with depression, and horses with physical therapy. Animal therapy is a fairly new and effective treatment for humans because although our furry companions cannot speak the human language they give us the feeling they understand us better than other humans at times. There are records of animals …show more content…

In this respect animals and humans give to one another on an emotional and mental level. Animal therapy has been around longer than some would think. In fact “Animal assisted therapy was first pioneered in the mid-1800s” by Florence Nightingale (Kowalczyk). Animals may be more useful to us emotionally than we are to them. Florence Nightingale made substantial discoveries regarding AAT (Ernst) when her patients that had pets or interacted frequently with a pet that was often in her facilities showed more improvement in their mental state than those who did not interact with these animals. Nightengale was the founder of modern nursing; this made sure the discovery of Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) did not go unnoticed. After it was noticed people began experimenting and exploring the possibilities of animals being more prominently involved in therapy for …show more content…

In the 1930’s “...Sigmund Freud...began using his favorite dog, Jofi, during his psychotherapy sessions” (Ernst); very similar to Nightingale. He was known as the father of psychoanalysis. He believed dogs to have a special sense; a sixth sense. He gauged the tension of his patients based upon how close the dog stayed. The farther from the patient the dog was the more tense he believed them to be. Freud also used Jofri as a way for patients to talk to him through the dog, using that as a stepping stone to speaking directly to Freud. However, Freud’s use of his dog in psychotherapy and thoughts on the potential animals held in therapy were not noticed until many years after his death when his journals were translated and available to the public. Boris Levinson was another psychotherapist to notice the effect of a dog on patients It was by chance that Levinson had a patient that was nonverbal begin to better communicate in the presence of Levinson’s dog. (Ernst). He observed this in other patients as well, the same as Freud. Levinson was not acknowledged for these observations until Freud’s journals were released. Levinson has since then been recognised as the father of AAT. although it was through dogs that we discovered AAT they are not the only animals that can help

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