If you’re looking for the best alcohol rehab center for your own or your loved one’s needs, it’s essential to look at the variety of treatments now available. Most centers offer basic counseling, 12-step programs, detoxification, and similar services. But getting clean often means getting more than just the basics. Many treatment centers consider animal-assisted therapy a complementary treatment. For people struggling with alcoholism, the anxiety-reducing, trust-building, and confidence-boosting aspects of interacting with and caring for an animal can make a huge difference. Therefore, animal-assisted therapy for addiction can be enormously beneficial for many people.
What Is Animal-Assisted Therapy?
In the broadest sense, animal-assisted therapy is simply taking advantage of the therapeutic, mood-enhancing benefits of ordinary interactions with animals. However, the key difference between animal-assisted therapy and similar uses of animals is it is geared toward a specific goal. For example, it may encourage alcoholics with low self-esteem to take a dog for a walk, teach it a new trick, or even just ensure it makes all its other appointments for the day. Even simple tasks like this can improve an individual’s confidence and self-efficacy.
Animal-assisted therapy is a relatively new practice that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It involves the use of animals, such as dogs, cats, and horses, to help patients improve their mental or physical health. There are many different forms of animal-assisted therapy, including dog training programs and even pet visitation programs.
Benefits of Animal-Assisted Therapy for Alcoholism
There are many plusses in choosing an alcohol rehab center that offers animal-assisted therapy, from general benefits to specific, goal-oriented outcomes. Some of the more important ones include:
- Helping clients open up: Therapists, including Sigmund Freud, have recognized that the presence of an animal can make therapy sessions more fruitful. Most therapists notice people feeling comfortable much more quickly and sharing more in sessions when accompanied by an animal.
- Eases anxiety and stress: The very act of petting an animal has an anxiety- and stress-reducing effect that can be hugely beneficial for people struggling with alcoholism. You lower the stress hormone cortisol by interacting with animals.
- Boosts confidence: Caring for animals can be an amazing confidence-boosting experience. Even something as simple as taking a dog for a walk or looking after them for a short period can be hugely rewarding for people with alcoholism. Not only does it show the therapist puts trust in you, but it also gives you a sense of responsibility and proves you can handle that responsibility.
- Improves client-therapist relationship: One study of animal-assisted therapy for people with addictions found that it improves the “therapeutic alliance” between the therapist and the client. Strengthening this bond makes all future sessions more fruitful and puts clients at ease.
Treatment Options at The Ranch PA
If animal-assisted therapy sounds like a good match, find an alcohol rehab center with a certified therapy dog. It might not seem particularly important to overcoming alcoholism, but the multitude of benefits makes all the difference. At The Ranch PA, we know clients need a variety of treatment options to heal. No one travels the same path to recovery. Therefore, we make sure to provide therapeutic options covering as many client needs as possible. Some of these include:
Music therapy for addiction is a type of treatment where music is used to help people recover from substance abuse and other addictions. This form of therapy can be particularly effective for people who are not able to express themselves or speak openly about their struggles with addiction. This is because music can act as an emotional outlet while offering healing and recovery.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on altering negative thoughts and behaviors, which can be detrimental to the recovery process. The goal of this type of therapy is to help people overcome addiction and avoid relapse. Cognitive-behavioral therapy uses a range of techniques to address the persistent thoughts, feelings, and behaviors associated with addiction
Trauma-informed therapy focuses on addressing the underlying emotional and psychological issues that are associated with substance abuse. This type of treatment helps to identify and address the root causes of addictive behaviors. As a result, it helps individuals heal and overcome their addictions.
Get Help Today
Finding ways to accommodate clients is one of our goals. We care about getting clients clean and setting them up for a lasting recovery. Thus, we make it a point to work with them. If this sounds like what you or a loved one needs, contact us today at 717.969.9126.