“The use of horses and dogs is growing and gaining popularity with the rise of new therapeutic models in animal therapy, and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Canine Therapy have been documented as beneficial in helping troubled teens turn their lives around,” said Waring.
Animal-assisted therapy has been used successfully with teens since the 1960s. Those who are familiar with equine-assisted therapy and canine therapy programs recognize and understand the power of horses and dogs to influence young people in incredibly powerful ways. As the troubled teen learns to communicate with an animal, he or she often finds a correlation between the way parents try to communicate and motivate an obstinate teen. Often teens with trust issues develop close bonds with an animal after taking responsibility for its care and well-being. Animal therapy has been proven to increase communication skills, self-discipline and positive behaviors. Equine and canine therapy programs are also effective in improving a teen’s self- esteem, as horses, dogs and other animals give the teen unconditional love and acceptance.
Customizing therapy to meet the needs of the teen creates successful outcomes
Residential treatment centers and therapeutic boarding schools provide students with the tools to discover their self-worth, healthy values and positive behaviors, through customized treatment programs designed to meet the needs of each individual teen.
“When researching residential treatment programs for a troubled teen, parents should select one that focuses on providing intensive therapy including Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT), cognitive, individual, family and anim
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