Mind Works is excited to announce that beginning in January 2019 we will be offering Animal Assisted Counseling (AAC), an approach to mental health care that incorporates animals into the psychotherapy process, emphasizing the bond created during human-animal interactions. Emotional recovery and positive psychological transformation often occur when the relationship between an individual and the therapy animal grows.
Pet Partners defines animal-assisted therapy (AAT) in Standards of Practice in Animal-Assisted Interventions as “a goal-directed intervention in which an animal is incorporated as an integral part of the clinical health-care treatment process. AAT is delivered or directed by a professional health or human service provider who demonstrates skill and expertise regarding the clinical applications of human-animal interactions.”
Animal-assisted psychotherapy can provide numerous psychological and physiological benefits. People who interact with animals for the purpose of therapy may experience improvements in health, including:
Decreased stress levels
Reduced anger and aggression
Decreased hostility toward the self and others
Improved social interactions
Decreased heart rate and blood pressure
Rise in release of beta-endorphins
Improvement in self-esteem, patience, and trust
Sense of empowerment
Clinicians and their animal partners at Mind Works have either completed or are working towards completion of their AAC certification through Texas State University.