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Animal-Assisted Therapy and the Psychological and Psychophys

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Jennifer Mackenzie

on 14 November 2013

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Transcript of Animal-Assisted Therapy and the Psychological and Psychophys

Animal-Assisted Therapy and the Psychological and Psychophysiological benefits
Different animals used in interventions
Most previous research for AAT includes the following animals:
Others are:
guinea pigs
small rodents
farm animals i.e pigs ,sheep,poultry
Intervention and Therapy
Thank you for listening...questions?
Do you think these interventions are effective?
Do you think it is okay to use animals in therapy?
Are all kinds of animals acceptable for therapy?
Do you think oxytocin should be administered as a treatment to replace animals in therapy?

Various physiological indicators are used to research the effects of HAI....
epinephrine and norepinephrine
A history of animal intervention
Ninth Century- Human skeleton, & treatment for handicapped individuals
1790- Therapy with mentally ill
1830- mental institutions
1867- Epilepsy patients
1942- U.S Army hospital
1944- First journal on AAI
1962- Borris Levinson
1970s-Child's Psychiatric hospital,Borris, "petmobile", pets and blood pressure.
1980- Delta Society
Background on ATT
Animal Friends'
Pet-Assisted Therapy Program
A you tube clip of DAT
What's next for future research?
Effects of oxytocin as therapeutic treatment looks promising...

Effects of long and short term treatments...?

Oxytocin...successful alternative?
History of animals in healing
The Barton Hill Animal Assisted Therapy Centre

M. L. Morrison (2007)
F. Cirulli et al (2011)
B. T. Klontz at al (2007)
T. L. Humphries (2003)
G. Colombo et al (2006)
Critics of DAT
Too expensive
Not much previous research
Equivalent to taking a warm bath!!..
Tabo the therapy dog
what is oxytocin?
It is thought to be an underlying mechanism which provides a role in social stress modulation
The benefits of use as a drug treatment...
Autism - Teng et al. (2013) www.autismspeaks.org
Bipolar disorder Turan et al. (2013)
Schizophrenia Fischer-Shofty et al. (2013)
Animals give us...

companionship, love and support

socially, behaviourally, emotionally and physically


well-being, stress adaptation, anxiety, autism, depression, communicative disorders, rehabilitation, sensory stimulation, spinal cord injury, diabetes, emotional expression, high blood pressure, confidence & more...

Macauley (2006)
Barker & Dawson (1998)
Wells & Perrine (2001)
Jalongo et al (2004)
O'Haire (2013)
Wells & Perrine (2001)
Three men with aphasia from left hemisphere strokes.
Recieved one semester of traditional therapy. Followed by one semester of AAT.
Client satisfaction questionnaire. Clients reported they were more motivated, enjoyed therapy sessions more and felt the atmosphere of sessions were lighter and less stressed during AAT compared with traditional therapy.
Examined whether AAT sessions reduced anxiety levels of hospitalized psychiatric patients.
Traditional therapy session compared with AAT session.
Participants completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (self report measure of anxiety).
Baker & Dawson (1998) found significant reductions in anxiety scores after AAT.
Pet owners have been found to be happier, more independent & more optimistic, than non-pet owners.
Mental & physical health benefits.
Pets in the care home.

Increases socialization.
AAT helps reach treatment goals.
Fish aquariums & Alzheimer's. (Edwards & Bech, 2000).
Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D)
All students who participated in R.E.A.D for 13 months gained reading levels.
Evidence seen not only in reading but across the curriculum.
Physiological measures: lowered heart rate, blood pressure when reading aloud.
Support goals of inclusion.
The presence of an animal can significantly increase positive social behaviors in children with autism.
Children with ASD demonstrated more social behaviors like talking, looking at faces and making physical contact.
Author suggests that AAT may help children with ASD connect with adults figures & therapists.
193 participants from 31 companies allowing pets in the workplace.
completed anonymous questionnaires.
Results, participants perceived pets in the workplace to reduce stress & to positively affect employee health & productivity.
Helps people regulate social interactions.


Significant correlations between pet ownership and positive physiological measures (Walsh, 2009).
The effects...
Mutually beneficial (Wells, 2009, Beetz et., 2012)
A similar physiological system between
animals and humans
Love hormone
Maternal Care (Pedersen et al., 1982)
Labour & Lactation (Burbach et al., 2006)
Pair bonds (Young & Wang, 2004)
Early life experiences may affect the oxytocinergic system (Heim et al., 2009)
Beetz et al., 2012 reviewed the psychosocial and psychophysiological effects of human-animal interactions.
improved social attention, behaviour, interpersonal interaction and mood
improved mental and physical health - cardiovascular health
reduced Stress-related parameters such as cortisol, heart rate and blood pressure
reduction of self-reported fear and anxiety

Individual differences
Social experiences
Alcohol & drugs
Genetic variation
Age & gender
(Buisman-Pijlman et al., 2013)
Full transcript