Creature Comfort: Animals that Heal

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Prometheus Books, 2000 - Health & Fitness - 313 pages
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This inspiring, humorous, and touching book celebrates the beneficial effects that animals have on humans and describes how their healing potential is being increasingly acknowledged by the medical community. Animal Assisted Therapy, an important new development in health care, has already shown that people are statistically less likely to suffer an early heart attack if they have a pet, and that stroking an animal actually reduces stress levels.

This, however, is only the tip of the iceberg, says environmental psychologist Bernie Graham. Animal Assisted Therapy is now achieving amazing results in treating children with physical and mental disabilities by using trained dolphins in acquatic therapy. There are also programs that teach dogs to help the disabled by taking laundry out of the washing machine; selecting, unpacking, and paying for items in the supermarket; and even withdrawing money from the bank. Cats, rabbits, and dogs are now taken into hospitals to comfort the patients, and more exotic animals such as ferrets, donkeys, guinea pigs, monkeys, and even tigers are being used to bring hope to individuals, thereby enhancing human efforts.

Written with warmth and compassion, Creature Comfort looks at all aspects of Animal Assisted Therapy, including the theories behind it, to provide both a practical guide and a moving account of the many rewarding human-animal interactions. A must for pet lovers, health care workers, and anyone who wishes to benefit from this most holistic of therapies.

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Theories Thoughts and Feelings
The A Team
Some Practical Guidelines

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About the author (2000)

Bernie Graham, an environmental psychologist, is a member of the British Psychological Society, the International Society for Anthrozoology, and the Society for Companion Animal Studies.

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