Therapy animals have been in use for quite some time. I personally know multiple therapists who bring their dogs and cats to work. They tell me it has been nothing but a positive outcome when the clients interact with the animals as they are working with the therapist. One psychologist I know tells me that when he doesn’t bring his dog to work, his clients complain and ask for the dog. Children often take to therapy animals and can assist with opening up the theraputic process. A lot of seniors have therapy animals and of course, therapy animals can visit people in the hospitals to help them as they work through their illness and for the family members as well.
The first time I saw a client with a therapy animal was in a group therapy session. I had entered the group and most of the clients were already there. Fifteen minutes into the group I noticed a dog, sleeping on the floor in the back of the room. The dog wasn’t a bother at all. In fact, the other group members interacted with the dog and it appeared to make them more comfortable.
Therapy animals can help with depression, anxiety, elevating self-esteem and self-worth among others. Below is a link to an article which discusses the benefits of having a therapy animal.
More on http://www.npr.org/