Animal Assisted Interventions

Animal Assisted Interventions describe activities that purposely include an animal to facilitate; learning, comfort, relaxation, security, enjoyment, therapy or engagement across various populations and settings. The use of Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI) dates back hundreds of years and takes advantage of they physiological and psychological changes that occur in people in the presence of animals (Horowitz, 2008). In particular, Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) has become very popular over the last 30 years since it was first shown to quickly promote positive, trusting and comfortable working alliance between a therapist and their client (Lambert, 1992). Over that time, AAT has repeatedly and empirically been shown to; increase empathy, self-esteem, decrease stress, improve positive social interaction and self-control and promote the healthy expression of emotions (Jalongo, et. al. 2004; Lieber, 2002; Levinson & Mallon, 1997; Melson, 2001).

Animal Assisted Education (AAE) involve a trained animal and qualified professional conducting interventions in education settings that specifically target educational outcomes. AAE is designed to enhance learning outcomes and provide assistance with social, behavioural and motivational related issues. AAE can be conducted in the classroom or in the home environment and be individual or group focused.


Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) involves the use of trained animals and qualified professionals in a variety of goal-focused interventions that have measured outcomes. The aim of AAT is to improve a clients emotional, social and cognitive functioning. AAT can be used in a variety of settings including Aged Care, Psychology and Counselling, Physical Rehabilitation and Education.


 

Benefits of AAI

Some of the benefits of AAT include:

  • Lowering anxiety levels.
  • Reduced blood pressure.
  • Stimulates mental activity.
  • Improved self esteem and socialisation.
  • Improved verbal interactions.
  • Increased attention skills.
  • Increased vocabulary.
  • Improve willingness to be involved in group activities.
  • Increased movement and exercise.
  • Increased openness.

 
George enjoying a day at the beach with a client who had previously isolated himself to his room.

Patient Paws offers Animal Assisted Interventions in a range of settings including:

  • Aged Care
  • Residential Care
  • Schools
  • Tutoring
  • Counseling


If you would like to contact us regarding our AAI services please contact Gemma on 0407 553 975 or email your enquiry to gemma@patientpaws.com.au