Animal Assisted Psychotherapy
Why work with animals during treatment?
Research shows that animals can reduce physiological and psychological stress signs, such as heart rate and blood pressure, which allows clients to feel calmer and less anxious during sessions and thus more able to engage in therapy. Animals are empathic, nonjudgmental, affectionate, and give unconditional positive regard, which enables a client to feel welcome, accepted, and comforted in session. Sessions with an animal can also be fun and energizing, which may be a welcome change for clients who have previously had unsuccessful therapeutic experiences.
Animal-assisted psychotherapy is unique in its ability to combine thinking, feeling, and behaving within one intervention. Working with the animals is a hands-on, experiential exercise, and clients no longer just talk about their issues but are engaged in activities.
THE EAGALA MODEL – A TEAM APPROACH
Horses are the perfect partner.
Because horses are highly sensitive, you can work through your life struggles by interacting with the horses without feeling judgment or interpretation by another person.
All the work is done on the ground with no riding involved.
The horses are equal partners on the team and are left unencumbered to allow them to interact freely with you and help you overcome challenges by being the expert in your own life.
Everyone has the innate ability to solve their own problems. The role of your Eagala team is to provide guidance that assists in your own process to create lasting solutions.
Ruby is a Boston Terrier rescued in 2017 and has been a registered volunteer therapy dog through Pet Partners. Ruby and Judith Liu have volunteered at local hospitals, nursing homes, libraries, colleges, schools, and summer camps.
Ruby and Judith Liu have been working together, providing in-person sessions since 2019. As a therapy animal, Ruby provides a complementary intervention for mindfulness therapy in clients' treatment. Ruby provides a calming presence and provides companionship during the work that is done together. Therapy dogs can assist clients in overcoming anxiety and depression.