Have you ever thought that humans are so hard to deal with and sometimes the outcome doesn’t even match the effort? Or maybe your social anxiety is so big that you don’t want to seek for help from fellow humans? Don’t worry, animals are there for you.
The animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a “type of therapy that involves animals as a form of treatment” (Wikipedia). If you ever thought that petting a cat or a dog is helpful, that’s because it actually is.
“Wilson’s (1984) biophilia hypothesis is based on the premise that our attachment to and interest in animals stems from the strong possibility that human survival was partly dependent on signals from animals in the environment indicating safety or threat. The biophilia hypothesis suggests that if we see animals at rest or in a peaceful state, this may signal to us safety, security and feelings of well-being which in turn may trigger a state where personal change and healing are possible.
Six neurotransmitters that influence mood have been documented to release after a 15-minute or more interaction with animals. Mirror neuron activity and disease-perception through olfactory (smelling) ability in dogs may also play important roles in helping dogs connect with humans during therapeutic encounters.” – Wikipedia
It seems that even watching animals is helpful. Their peace becomes our peace and you know you need some peace from time to time. It seems there is a pretty interesting list of issues and disorders where AAT helps:
“Based on current research, there are many conditions/disorders that can benefit from animal-assisted therapy (AAT) in diverse settings around the world. Those conditions include psychological disorder, developmental disorder, dementia, cancer, chronic pain, advanced heart failure, etc. Animal-assisted therapy is commonly used for psychological disorder. Disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD), autism spectrum disorder(ASD), post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD), major depressive disorder (MDD) are part of psychological disorders that can benefit from animal-assisted therapy.” – Wikipedia
Have you ever noticed similar effects? If so, with which animals?