As if play therapy weren’t already fun enough, now imagine the addition of a furry little friend! There is a reason that animal-assisted play therapy programs are becoming more and more popular everywhere you look these days.
Research has found that when animals are included in counseling sessions, children feel less anxiety, are less depressed, and have an enhanced sense of well-being and acceptance, become more empathetic, learn social skills, among many other health and emotional benefits. The benefits of including therapy animals are endless. Most importantly, children are put at ease and are often able to relax into their sessions much more quickly—speeding up their progress—when a furry (or not-so-furry, in the case of Winston the hairless cat) therapeutic partner is part of the process.