Supporting Research in the fields of
SUD Recovery & Integrative Healthcare
- Wesley, et al. (2015) notes that increasing the value of the therapeutic alliance can significantly improve the probability of recovery success for clients seeking treatment for substance dependence.
-His team evaluated effects of AAT on the therapeutic alliance with an adult residential substance abuse population in group therapy. Study found that the therapy dog group had a significantly more positive perception of the therapeutic alliance than the control group.
-Leslie Stewart (2016) notes that the use of AAT uniquely impacts the therapeutic relationship, particularly by helping mental health professionals build positive alliances more quickly and with greater perceived genuineness, warmth and empathy.
AAI & The Therapeutic Alliance
AAI for Integrative Care
-According to Dr. Lise Alschuler (Integrative Practitioner, 2008), we know we are experiencing integrated healthcare when we experience being in a therapeutic relationship with our healthcare provider(s) that advocates for the use of diverse therapies to support our total health and overall wellbeing.
-Moreover, integrated healthcare recognizes the need for, and value of, bringing diverse practitioners together for the good of the patient. (Alschuler, 2008)
-AAT is thus fitting as an element of integrated healthcare, because it doesn’t stand alone as a therapy, but rather acts an adjunct to conventional psychosocial rehabilitation modalities. (Calvo, 2016)
-AAT is a burgeoning (evidence-based) alternative and complementary therapy across multiple fields in healthcare
The Effectiveness of Watching Animals on Video
- A study out of CSU (Kogan, 2017) evaluated a simple intervention—short breaks during a veterinary pharmacology lecture series in the form of funny/cute animal videos (Mood Induction Procedures, or MIP)—to assess for potential impact on students' mood, interest in material, and perceived understanding of material.
- 10 video clips showing cats or dogs were selected to influence students' affective states.
- Results suggest that showing cute animal videos in the middle of class positively affected students' mood, interest in material, and self-reported understanding of material.
On why H2H was selected as
Kern County, CA's sole source provider of Animal-Assisted Intervention services
Ms Kover has been selected because she has unique work experience and education that has not been found in any other person locally or statewide in this field. Ms. Kover is passionate about integrating animals into recovery, and providing members of our community with skills they may not otherwise be able to gain in traditional treatment.
- Ana Olvera, Behavioral Health & Recovery System Administrator, Kern BHRS
Our Own Findings
(at a glance)
In each of our Seeking Safety + Therapy Dogs group sessions at Kern Behavioral Health & Recovery Services, under the program name F.R.E.D. (Freedom, Recovery & Empowerment with Dogs), we collected client surveys that included a pre-group mental health symptom rating, a post-group symptom rating, and this statement (i.e. "Question #3"), with which clients either "strongly disagreed", "disagreed", felt "neutral", "agreed", or "strongly agreed": The animals' presence helped reduce my mental health symptoms. The data displayed here covers (in-person) groups between July 1, 2018 and October 1, 2019.