BondingAs a pet owner, you bring your pet to a mental hospital through a group that provides animal-assisted therapy such as Lead the Way. The pet is introduced during group session where the patients talk to and about the pet. The patients should be near the pet to promote bonding.
The bonding session helps the patients empathize with how others are feeling about the animal, helps the patients express their own feelings and see how the pet and pet owner bond. Seeing the bond between the pet owner and pet can help patients establish examples of caring relationships.
Self-Esteem and Self-ControlThe pet can be introduced during both group and individual therapy sessions. The patient provides care for the pet by stroking it and giving it attention, which helps boost his self esteem. He is able to provide something for the pet, which the pet shows appreciation for through kisses (licks) and cuddles. This helps give patients a sense of accomplishment and teaches them that giving and caring is rewarded.
Additionally, caring for the pet teaches patients self-control as they can't just leave the pet alone and must take care of it. Teaching the pet tricks also helps the patients practice patience and self control.