Here at Serenity Light, we make use of service dogs as part of our comprehensive approach to treating addiction. Service dogs can offer a wide variety of benefits to patients who are healing from their addictions. Thus, animal assisted therapy is one of the most effective and popular forms of therapy we offer.
Therapeutic Service Dogs
Animals accept us as we are. Their acceptance is unconditional and without judgment. Therefore, service dogs offer individuals in recovery a sense of acceptance when it is most needed. Because clients find themselves at a time in their life still preparing to assimilate back into their families, work, school, and society as a whole. A companion, a friend during this transition, can all the difference.
Recovery from addiction is a time when individuals exhibit their very lowest levels of self-esteem. By offering unconditional love, animal assisted therapy helps patients see their self-worth at a vital moment in their recovery. Further, many patients in recovery find service dogs make excellent confidantes. After all, they will never share what you confide in them with others. As patients progress through treatment, a service dog can serve as the first step in creating a trustworthy support system. Once patients complete their treatment and enter aftercare, they’ll know the value of such a support system. Often, it will lead to actively seeking to create or be a part of a caring community.
Health Benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy
There are many additional proven health benefits associated with therapeutic and service dogs. Some physical benefits include:
These benefits are both physical and psychological and include:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Diminished overall physical pain
But there are also significant psychological results from animal assisted therapy such as:
- Lower likelihood of depression symptoms and lower anxiety
- Reduced stress
- Less loneliness
This is due to the increase in endorphins released when with an animal. The effect leads to calm and relaxation. A side benefit is often increased socialization, as well.
Clearly, there are numerous mental health benefits to animal assisted therapy. At the very least, service dogs may distract you from your issues, giving your mind a break. Distraction can be a good thing. Especially in addiction recovery, when it means being distracted from the hardships you are facing. Spending time with an animal draws attention away from your problems and instead onto the needs of the animal. Soon, patients learn to turn attention from the animal to other people growing in empathy. As you spend time with a service dog, you practice nurturing skills, consider the needs of others, and reflect on how your actions and words might affect another.
Serenity Light Recovery
The benefits of animal assisted therapy are clear. But if you are not the kind of person who enjoys being around animals or can’t be, Serenity Light Recovery offers many more kinds of treatment and therapy, including:
We offer many others as well. Quite simply, we will have something to suit your needs. However, if you are interested in our animal assisted therapy program, how it can help you overcome addiction, recover, and ultimately, increased socialization, contact us today at 855.658.6109.