A Model Animal Therapy Program for Mental Health Settings


  • Patricia McCandless


Animal Therapy, Recreation Therapy, Psychiatric Hospitalization, Mental Health, Program Descriptions, Program Models


This paper describes the structure and function of a program of animal therapy used with hospitalized psychiatric patients as part of a comprehensive therapy milieu. It begins with identification of some common psychological needs of psychiatric patients and continues with a discussion of ways in which therapeutic recreation programs such as this can address these common needs and facilitate their development in psychotherapy. In addition, potential modifications are explored as a means of adapting the principles of this model to accommodate the resources of virtually any mental health or recreational therapy program.