Therapy animals are increasingly being used to assist adults and children with a wide range of emotional and psychological disorders including depression, recovery from trauma, anxiety and neuroses.
The presence of an animal in the therapy room can make sessions more pleasurable and productive, and improve therapeutic outcomes. Clients experience calming effects, brightening of mood, increased self-esteem, stress reduction and increased motivation.
Child-animal interactions can also provide the following benefits:
- Promote development of empathy
- Help withdrawn children to interact and open up
- Help children to develop a rapport with the counsellor
- Non-judgemental acceptance of child offered by animal
- Improved socialisation skills
- Non-threatening physical contact, touch
- Physiological benefits – increased ability to relax,
- Decreased heart rate and blood pressure
Frances is one of only a handful of therapists offering AAT in this country, and her work with her first therapy dog, Tilly, has been featured in numerous publications including Psychologies and Staffordshire Life magazines.
Sadly Tilly passed away in 2017 so now Frances offers her young clients the opportunity to have Bertha, a Black Labrador, present in their sessions if they wish. She has been thoroughly obedience trained, and assessed by the organisation ‘Pets as Therapy’, and Frances is fully insured to use Bertha in her counselling work.