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Animal assisted therapy (AAT) is a therapeutic modality that utilizes certified therapy animals (CTAs) as therapeutic agents in a process facilitated by trained helping professionals. Incorporating animals into therapy is argued to be ameliorative because clients have opportunities to give and receive affection. AAT is especially important for clients who may be impaired in their ability to create a therapeutic relationship with a human helping professional. While personal pets may be comforting to their owners and others, their therapeutic value is not, strictly speaking, AAT. Trained helping professionals intentionally use both directive and nondirective intervention strategies in the therapeutic process. In many populations, AAT has been shown to decrease depression and anxiety while increasing self-esteem and self-efficacy and has been found especially effective in working ...

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