The presence of animals can often have a calming effect on humans. Being able to stroke and interact with dogs, cats, horses, and all sorts of other creatures can often give your mindset a positive boost.
Combating mental challenges often involves a range of therapies that are designed to induce more positive feelings and thoughts. It is no coincidence that animals are now routinely used for emotional support by someone who suffers from anxiety.
Places such as socal sunrise mental health treatment center understand the value of this connection and will often actively encourage any sort of interaction with animals that promotes a positive feeling of wellbeing.
Let’s explore our connection with animals and how they help our mental health.
A dog’s love has no barriers or conditions
The most famous psychoanalyst of them all, Sigmund Freud, used to have his own dog, a Chow Chow, sit in on some of his sessions with patients. He understood the calming effect his pet could have and his dog was very perceptive in tuning into the mood of each patient.
Our relationship with dogs has evolved over time and humans have learned that a dog is capable of delivering love in such a pure and unadulterated form to its owner in a way that is almost impossible to replicate with another human.
Freud witnessed how much calmer his patients would be when the dog was present and even described his canine companion as a co-therapist.
Animals can induce a deep level of trust
As well as having the ability to make us feel calmer and less anxious, many domestic animals have a unique talent for being able to make someone who is uncomfortable and untrustworthy of others lower their defenses.
Psychotherapists who are looking for ways to help patients with mental illness problems have made this connection and have seen that some people will find that their barriers come down in the presence of an animal.
Animal Assisted Therapies (AAT) help treat a range of mental health conditions
Dogs are often the perfect animal to use when it comes to AAT. They display a unique level of love and lack of selfishness that makes them easy to love.
Dogs can often create a unique bond of friendship with a mental health patient and help alleviate symptoms such as depression and anxiety. People who have PTSD symptoms can often benefit from interaction with a dog as part of their therapy.
Equine therapy has a long history
It is not just domesticated animals that deliver positive healing benefits. Equine therapy is also widely recognized and it has been shown that it offers an effective way to decrease symptoms experienced by patients suffering from PTSD.
These examples demonstrate the unique role that animals can play in calming people and AAT is widely used to help treat mental health conditions.
Animals are capable of creating a powerful emotional connection that can often deliver positive mental health benefits.