For tens of thousands of years, humans have had an intimate relationship with animals, with animals living amongst humans as pets for an estimated 40,000 years. Today, animals not only provide day-to-day companionship for millions of Americans, but are also used in mental health therapy. To learn more about the power of pets in therapy and how our therapists at Life Insight can help you meet your goals, call us directly today.
Having an animal that serves as a companion can provide many benefits. Some of the recognized benefits of having a pet include:
In addition to the above, spending time with pets—or visiting someone else’s pet or an animal shelter, cat cafe, or a therapy animal in your therapist’s office—can have specific physical, mental, and emotional benefits.
Data shows that spending time around animals can have physical benefits for your health, including reduced blood pressure, improved cardiovascular health, improved sense of comfort, reduced physical pain, and release of feel-good hormones, such as serotonin and dopamine.
Data also shows that spending time around animals can have mental health benefits, such as reduced anxiety and depression, increased feelings of empathy, learning to honor the boundaries of other beings, and more. You also learn how to care for and interact with another living thing. Being responsible for another living thing can provide a person with a sense of purpose and meaning.
If you are someone who is struggling with a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety, it’s important that you know that there are treatment options available. In addition to medication and therapy, other options include lifestyle changes, meditation, breathing exercises, and spending more time around animals, particularly therapy pets. Sometimes, a combination of these methods works best.
At Life Insight, our experienced mental health therapists will work with you to understand your needs and help you to establish goals for therapy. Our therapists will present multiple strategies for managing your mental health—working with a therapy animal may be one of them. If you’re interested in working with a therapy animal, please let us know.
To learn more about mental health therapy and the power of pets in therapy, please reach out to Life Insight directly today. We are accepting new patients and look forward to being able to help you.