Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: A Case Report -- Animal-Assisted Therapy

Janet Eggiman, BSN, MSN


October 12, 2006

In This Article


There are few quantitative studies on the benefits of animal-assisted therapy (AAT). Information about this modality consists mainly of anecdotal statements, testimonials, and case reports. However, recent research has demonstrated that the use of therapy dogs, integrated with more traditional forms of therapy, can improve therapeutic results.

This case report describes the treatment of a 10-year-old girl with posttraumatic stress disorder and a history of physical and sexual abuse. AAT was used as part of a broader cognitive-behavioral therapy intervention. The patient's behavior during therapy sessions was observed before and after the introduction of the therapy dog. There was a dramatic change in behavior and a subsequent report from her foster mother that behavior in the home improved.


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