Pet Therapy During Rehab
At Spring Gardens Recovery, your pets are welcome. We understand that pets play an important role in your life and an equal role in your success during recovery. Here some frequently asked questions about pet therapy during rehab.
What Pets Can Be Therapy Pets?
Although many people associate pet therapy during rehab with dogs, cats, and horses, every type of pet can help you through your journey towards recovery. A therapy pet can be furry, scaled, feathered, or something else entirely. At Spring Gardens Recovery, our clients have all kinds of pets and have benefited greatly from incorporating those pets into their recovery.
How Can My Pet Help Me Through My Treatment?
As humans, we naturally crave connection. 1 For some people, connecting with animals is just as necessary, and sometimes more beneficial, than connecting with another human being. Some people can be toxic, judgmental, and cruel when someone is going through treatment for addiction. Animals do not possess any of these characteristics; your pets reciprocate the love and affection you show them.
The way we connect with our pets is a reflection of the deepest, most vulnerable parts of ourselves. Throughout treatment, your pet remains a constant source of connection, unconditional love, and motivation. Our hope is that your pet provides a sense of calm during challenging periods.
Does a Pet Have to Be Certified and Trained to Participate in My Treatment?
No, your pet does not have to be trained or certified in therapy in any way to be an active part of your treatment plan. We believe that including your pet with you as part of your support system throughout your recovery does not require specific training, skills, or certifications. Pets can be therapeutic just as they are.
What are the Most Significant Benefits of Pet Therapy During Rehab?
There are a multitude of benefits when including your pet as part of your recovery. Some of the most significant benefits are:
- A deeper understanding of yourself. The way you interact with your pets can show you things about yourself that you haven’t yet realized. Having your pet with you during your recovery process allows you a greater ability to reflect and become more self-aware.
- Comfort and security. The recovery process can be challenging. Having your pet with you throughout your journey can bring you comfort while enduring detox and withdrawal.
- Pets help you cope with co-occurring conditions. It is not uncommon for those experiencing addiction to have dual diagnoses, such as panic disorder, anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Pets are not only therapeutic during your recovery, but can help you cope with coexisting conditions as well.
- Balancing the ‘pleasure centers’ of your brain. Addiction makes it difficult for your body to produce these hormones on its own. 2 Even just being around your pet helps your brain release dopamine and oxytocin, which directly impact your moods and behaviors.
Those struggling with an addiction often experience debilitating stress or feel they are under an immense amount of pressure. Taking the steps to regain control of your life and your future is a major step towards recovery. Including your pets in your recovery plan helps reduce some of the stress associated with beginning this journey. If having your pet with you benefits your mental health and wellness while you recover from addiction, we welcome your pet to Spring Gardens Recovery.
The Road to Recovery Starts at Spring Gardens
At Spring Gardens Recovery, we take a holistic approach to addressing addiction. We understand that recovery is never one-size-fits-all. With our team of compassionate care specialists, we take every measure to tailor your recovery to your needs, emphasizing the importance of self-awareness and self-discovery during your journey.
If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction, we are here for you. For more information on pet therapy during rehab, comprehensive information on the services we offer, or to take the first step towards beating addiction, contact a member of our team.
Sources https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-main-ingredient/201101/craving-connection  https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/drugs-brain
Samantha Nettleton, CCTP, CMHIMP is the Chief Operating Officer and Clinical Director for Spring Gardens Recovery. After completing and receiving her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Human Services (Concentrations in Mental Health & Addiction Counseling), she became licensed for the State of Florida as a Mental Health Counselor. She has also been a recovery coach since 2012. Samantha specializes in Trauma, Personality Disorders, Substance Abuse, Process Addictions, and Other Mental Health Disorders.