Animal Therapy – SWR2

The animals are good. Children, young adults, the elderly, the sick, and people with disabilities experience a new affinity when you help animals with education and psychotherapy.















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How does animal therapy work?

Live rodents open the hearts of children. The calmness of the tortoise encourages self-reflection. Often dogs or horses shine Safety And the Safety Outside. The “healing power” of animals includes therapy and education professionals in their work.

a animal once again precise antennas for The mood and the human behavior It interacts very directly. Sigmund Freud already stated that children like these rude comments very much.

“The child (…) without hesitation affords the animal full equality; in the unfettered recognition of his needs he is probably more attached to the animal than to the adult, which is perhaps a mystery to him.”



Baby with a duckling: Young children especially interact strongly with animals


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But many adults also find that they turn to and trust a four-legged friend or small mammal more easily. Many are also more mindful when interacting with an animal, seeking to get their attention and to think about their body language.

However, in animal therapy, it is not the animal who does the treatment, but the specialist. This is how a person is created dynamic triple constellation. The handler or breeder influences the arrangement between the patient and the animal.

Birds as bedside company in the nineteenth century

Animal therapy has a history: Florence Nightingale, a pioneer of British nursing, had noted this beneficial effect as early as the nineteenth century. For example, I thought birds make excellent bedside companions. In Germany they started at that time From the Bodelschwingh Bethel . Foundation In Bielefeld with animals in the treatment of epilepsy patients.

But only the American child psychologist Boris M. Levinson Making this special romantic relationship known to the general public: his book was published in 1969 Psychotherapy for children with petsPsychotherapy for children based on their favorite animal.

So far, there are no quality standards in animal therapy

subordinate Professional Association “Animal Assisted Intervention” International and European institutes are calling today Training and quality standards for animal therapy. The accusation: All too often, animals are simply left defenseless when confronted with strangers. Its character and convenience are ignored.

At the same time, according to the association, it often happens that the impact of animals on humans is not professionally processed and classified.

Dolphin therapy is prohibited in Germany

Dolphin therapy is a prime example of animal weakness. Dolphins are terrestrial marine animals that can be highly stressed in captivity and in small tanks. Business with them is forbidden in Germany, but not in other countries.

Whether the expensive encounters with marine mammals there are also verifiable success is disputed in specialized circles. The German Animal Welfare Association holds Wild animals are basically unsuitable for so-called animal-assisted intervention.

Treating animals only under the principle of electives

And guinea pigs, mice, rabbits, and rats are not pets either. Only voluntary close contact of animals is allowed during treatment. a Permanent withdrawal of animals should be possible.

For dogs, horses, donkeys, goats, sheep and pigs, encounters with strangers are usually easier and less problematic. And for chicken. who – which voluntary principle It applies here too, of course.



Equine Therapy for Managers Dealing with animals should make managers more understanding of bosses (Photo: IMAGO, IMAGO/HRSchulz)

Equine Therapy for Managers – Animal handling should make managers more understanding of bosses


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IMAGO / HR Schulz


What can animal therapy achieve?

Studies have shown that: Der Spiegel des The stress hormone cortisol decreases The pulse slows when people dedicate themselves to animals. Many people also talk to animals more spontaneously and freely. Soldiers were shocked by the war For example, report it on treatment appointments with dogs.

Schizophrenia, MS, Alzheimer’s: Observations show positive effects of animal therapy

There are more and more reports of positive experiences, but still Relatively little scientific evidence of success Animal-assisted therapy and education. A team from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore concluded that a Childhood contact with dogs risk a Schizophrenia drop.

A study conducted by the University of Cologne showed that patients with multiple sclerosis Manal hippotherapy They benefited from a special physical therapy on horseback: improved balance and spasticity.

There are also cases of dog therapy Alzheimer’s disease speech stimulation. Even guinea pigs can hunt for one brain attack speech stimulation.

However, many of these positive effects for humans and animals are still based on observations.

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