What are your feelings on the use of animals (dogs, cats, horses, fish) to aid in emotional and physical therapy for children? Do you know a child who has benefited from this type of therapy? If so, what's the number one change that you noticed in that child?
I am in the process of conducting research on this topic and I would really love to have my fellow Hubbers input.
There's an interesting article you might enjoy: Bardill, N., & Hutchinson, S. (2007). Animal-Assisted Therapy With Hospitalized Adolescents. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6171.1997.tb00208.x
This article is a qualitative research study that observed and interviewed 16 adolescent patients on a psychiatric ward that had a cocker-spaniel as a 24/7 resident who had a free run of the unit. One extremely sad interview was a case of a young HIV adolescent (she had been abused by her parents that were in a satanic cult and now suffered from PTSD and was extremely withdrawn and distrustful of all people). However, she freely talked to the cocker spaniel, "Graham" and Graham would sleep on her bed at night so she wouldn't be afraid to fall asleep. This is just one of many interviews in this interesting article about pet therapy in adolescents with psychological disorders. If you can't find the article, I would be happy to email it to you.
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