The therapies of animals with people traditionally affected by physical disabilities, have proven that Dogs are extremely beneficiary co-therapists also for people with a mental ilness. We have seen improved benefits in the socialization and the integration of these individuals in their usual environments.
Multiple studies point that there are improved benefits to contemplate in patients with pharmachologic treatments, when they have been presented to an alternative therapy with animals. These studies confirm the positive psychological effects which means for an individual, the company and care of a company animal, eventhough many Assisted Therapies are done with horses or daulphins. The work in common of animal, therapist and patient can liberate this last one of certain anxiety, insecurity, or reduce their level of stress, by and all provide with an emotional support not seen until this moment.
We have many cases, in Canis Majoris, where patients with a mental ilness improve their corporal expression and emotional, they feel active and happy and are overall more motivated; they feel better accompanied, helping the solitude effects to quickly dissipate. Animals posess a tranquilizing effect over people and they reduce their level of excitement, furthermore they are appreciative and search for lovingness and acceptance of the people with whom they work. Many investigations relate direct contact with dogs, with low blood pressures, induced experimentaly.
Eventhough Animal Assisted Therapy is not a cure in itself, for mental ilness, it does chase and meets clear objectives in the improvement of the patients. To reach them, the ideal is that there exists a collaboration between psychologists, therapists and educators, in the elaboration of the programs, to obtain the objectives marqued for each subject. The animal is a multisensory stimulant which is able to break the monotony and atract the attention of the person with a disability. These patients end up participating more in the therapy and increase their overall motivation in the process.
In conclusion, Animal Assisted Therapy in mental ilness, provides with physical, psychological and social benefits in the patients, which greatly improves their overall quality of life.