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

Janet Eggiman, BSN, MSN

Disclosures

October 12, 2006

In This Article

Summary

Although quantitative research in the area of AAT is sparse, it is beginning to expand and show that there are many benefits to AAT, especially when integrated with other accepted forms of therapy. The case study of Annie showed that with AAT, she could manage her behavior and demonstrate a sense of calm. She felt empowered by her ability to keep the dog calm. She felt a sense of accomplishment and responsibility in not needing constant reminders and redirections during therapy. She was also able to show compassion and caring toward another being.

From the available research and anecdotal reports, it appears that AAT is beneficial and that it is important to have properly trained animals when instituting programs. The average pet is not acceptable because special training is needed for both the animal and the trainer. Administrative support is essential, and all staff in contact with the animal need to be trained. Rules and guidelines need to be established for the safety of patients, staff, and the animal. This is an area in which further research would be of benefit to the delivery of care to patients.

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