Pet Therapy at APEX Recovery Center – San Diego, California

 

Nola 5 Years Old ESA Dog
Meet Nola, a 5 year old miniature toy poodle. Nola loves helping APEX clients!

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a method used in counseling to integrate pet partners into the therapeutic treatment process. Sometimes the therapist provides guided interactions with their trained therapy dog, and in many cases the individual in treatment has a pet and an existing bond that can be part of their path to healing.

Animal-assisted therapy is a formalized method that takes place in guided sessions with your therapist. The goals of treatment remain the same, but research shows that including therapy animals can speed up the progress made, as well as improving relationships between the struggling individual and their doctor, counselor, or therapist.1

How Does Animal-Assisted Therapy Help Our Clients?

By bringing this innovative treatment to our team, Apex Recovery therapists can add this option to your individualized treatment program and aftercare plan. Pet therapy is beneficial to all types of treatment, including childhood abuse or neglect, grief counseling, PTSD, addiction treatment, and even as a support during chemotherapy and cancer treatment.1

Animal-assisted counseling has been specifically shown to improve:

  • Self-esteem and confidence
  • Conflicts in relationships
  • Feelings of debilitating grief and loss
  • Rapport with (i.e., feeling close to) your therapist or doctor
  • Self-care and willingness to exercise
  • Feelings of well-being and motivation
  • Motor skills and joint movement
  • Blood pressure and cardiovascular health
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Social skills and verbal communication1

What Types of Animals Assist With Therapy?

Almost any kind of domestic animal can be a partner in therapy. The ability of both animals and humans to build bonds with one another has allowed all types of pets to help in therapy, including:

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Rabbits
  • Guinea pigs
  • Birds
  • Horses
  • Llamas
  • Fish 

Improving All Aspects of Therapy and Treatment

Many people struggle with mental health conditions which contribute to, or are intertwined with, substance use and addiction. Apex Recovery is a premier California center for treatment in both. We are one of the few Southern California rehab centers offering both inpatient and outpatient accredited care for 5 levels of substance use treatment.

Evidence-based therapies are the cornerstone of recovery, and as studies show the benefits of pet therapy for individuals, we have incorporated this approach as an option in your own tailored treatment program. If you or your loved one is struggling with grief, anxiety, past trauma, or substance use, contact us today for guidance and support.

We have resources available for everyone, and telehealth programs and remote counseling offerings to bring healing home to you. We are standing by to bring the best new therapies to our clients through inpatient and outpatient programs tailored to the changing needs through each stage of recovery.

 

Meet Weezer, one of Apex Rehab’s Pet Therapy Staff Member’s

Apex Rehab - therapeutic canine
This is Eloise, better known as “WEEZIE” or WEEZER. She is a 6 year old yellow lab.

This is Eloise, better known as “WEEZIE” or WEEZER. She is a 6 year old yellow lab that is AKC Registered and licensed as a therapeutic canine through Therapy Dogs International, one of five therapy dog organizations recognized by the AKC. Weezer is sweet and cuddly, very well behaved. Her desire is to work to make others feel safe, secure, loved and begin healing through canine comfort and touch. Eloise has worked to help individuals with substance abuse and mental health issues begin the healing process and restore their hope through her presence and unconditional love. Eloise has a long list of accomplishments, most important she has worked at 2 nationally recognized treatment centers in both Texas and Virginia.

 

Sources:

1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2752/175303709X434167

 

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