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Dog assisted intervention at psychiatric ward

Dog-assisted intervention on a psychiatric ward is a very needed and efficient method. In Poland, the Animals for People Association cooperates with a big psychiatric hospital. Our dogs and therapists visit patients once a week, for 40-minutes group sessions. Patients are under psychiatric treatment: 6 weeks of therapy, education, and medical treatment that helps them understand their condition and deal with it. Dogs are supporting therapy. The main goals of our meetings are:

  1. Make patients happier

  2. Build self-confidence in social contact (first with the dog, then the handler, and finally the rest of the group)

  3. Show that they are important – the dog is happy to see them, the handler has time to talk to them and take care of their feelings

  4. Activate them for some physical exercise – movement, going for a walk, do some exercises with the dog

  5. Train some cognitive skills (logic exercises)

Recently we have had a small survey made by a therapist. Patients answered several questions, one of them was ” Do you benefit from AAI? What are the benefits?”. The answers were as follows: “peace”, “Mood improvement”, “relaxation”, “joy”, “fun”, “Good emotions”, “better mood”, “Humor”, “good mood”, “positive emotions”, “Smile on my face”, “improve my mental state and give a lot of satisfaction and improve humor “,” should be more than once a week “.

Below you can see a short movie from intervention, with a certified visiting dog – Boxer Kaja. She is 6 years old and working in this hospital for one year now.


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