Presenter: Dr Bronwyn Robson
March 1, 2019
Mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression are prevalent and appear to be on the rise. Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI) have been demonstrated to reduce the symptoms of depression, anxiety and PTSD (O’Haire, Guerin and Kirkham, 2015) and buffer the impact of stress (Fiocco and Hunse, 2017).
Dr Bronwyn Robson presented an evidence-based approach to using dogs in therapy with clients, particularly those with anxiety and/or depression. She recently ran a pilot program which aimed at trialling Animal-Assisted Therapy on the St Lucia campus of the University of Queensland, in order to determine if this type of program was a viable form of therapeutic intervention that could provide individuals with improved social, emotional and/or cognitive functioning. Bronwyn shared the outcomes of the trial and gave us a few tips on the ‘Hows‘ and ‘Whys‘ of thinking outside the box and bringing dogs into the counselling room.