What is Animal Assisted Play Therapy?
Animal Assisted Play Therapy is an intervention in which the animal (Hazel the dog) is used to enhance and compliment the benefits of Child Centered Play Therapy. Play Therapy Melbourne therapist Elisha, and Hazel her dog, are a highly trained and certified team who can provide a calming and supportive environment for therapeutic change to occur.
In addition to the benefits of Child Centered Play Therapy, Hazel provides those she visits with numerous psychological and physiological benefits.
Both adults and children who interact with Hazel for the purpose of therapy may experience improvements in :
- Decreased stress levels
- Reduced anger and aggression
- Decreased hostility toward the self and others
- Improved social interactions
- Improved compliance for therapy engagement
- Decreased blood pressure
- Rise in release of beta-endorphins and oxytocin
- Improvement in self-esteem, patience, and trust
- Sense of empowerment and mastery
Interestingly, parents and teachers who have visited with Hazel have reported that she has brought them calm in times of distress.
Elisha and Hazel certified as a therapy team in January 2018, after extensive training and testing. Hazel is a nonshedding, hypoallergenic Tamaruke labradoodle. She has been temperament tested, certified, insured, and continues to train to ensure the safety and well being of herself and students.