The benefits of Pet Therapy are now clear and clear to everyone. But what are the benefits of those who practice this therapy? Alberto Dal Negro, author of the book The Therapeutic Power of Animals, talks about it.
By now there is no doubt that the benefits of Pet Therapy are considerable, and this opinion is increasingly widespread also among health professionals, as reported by the result of a recent survey conducted by the National Reference Center for Animal Assisted Interventions out of 670 doctors.
The first striking fact of the survey is that most doctors who know IAA (assisted interventions with animals) are also fully in favor of this type of intervention (93.7%), do not consider them risky and have declared interest in deepen the topic. Well.
At least it is not a belief only of us operators , and our efforts – also in terms of researching scientific evidence of our work – are giving some results.
For now let’s stop here and leave the reader to explore the topic , even if it would be interesting to make a reflection where, when talking about the doctors involved in the investigation, it is reported that “the typical respondent is a woman and has an animal” …
Pet Therapy: the patient animal relationship
Pet Therapy: how is it done?
The benefits for those who practice Pet Therapy
But if the benefits towards the recipients are increasingly recognized and evident, what benefits does pet therapy practice have ? It seems an absurd question … but it is not at all. Also in my book it is a practice that I strongly advocate. But to that argument I feel like adding the following.
According to the search for an American psychiatrist, one of man’s deepest needs is not so much to feel loved, as to take care of him , to give love … interesting, isn’t it? Let’s take the example of someone who lives with an animal, for example a dog .
As we know, the dog offers us unconditional love (which I translate, as I read somewhere, in love without possession ). True, undeniable and beautiful for those who receive it. But it doesn’t stop there … This love we receive, whatever our state of mind, our social and health condition, induces us to release love . We can’t hold back … we just can’t …
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Receiving love means giving love
Receiving love leads us to return it, taking care of this other being, giving meaning to the function of our heart, which is essentially an organ that pumps love. And the more we give the more we receive in return, with a multiplier effect of great value. For us, first of all, and for others.
And it is the animal that activates this process, which facilitates its start; then each follows his own time, but the process is irresistible and unstoppable. And never as in this era of collective bewilderment and confusion of values, in which we often do not know how to choose between hyper-technology and contact with nature, between material and immaterial, we need to bring ourselves back to safe, simple values … to stop and then leave.
From this point of view, the animal is a safe haven, which knows how to welcome us, offers us the best we can ask for, forces us to act as essential as it is profound.
We learn to rely on them, to let ourselves be guided, to ask them for nothing but to be what they are. And we could only grow, personally and professionally, perhaps positively contaminating those who live alongside us and whom we meet in our life path.
We make this craft an art: the art of caring (like the Greek etymology of the therapeutic word – from tecnè = art and therapist = caring – it indicates us).
If we reap the benefits of the relationship with our animal , and we experience it concretely and intensely on our skin, what we are going to do in assisted interventions with animals takes on a whole other value .