Animal Magnetism

In psychotherapy, an approach called “person-centered counseling” calls for three essential qualities in the therapist: empathy, acceptance, and authenticity. According to a 2014 study of 312 middle school students, therapy dogs rate high on all three elements.
That will make sense to any pet owner. Animals have no pretense, so they are genuine and fully present. They don’t judge. And it’s obvious from anecdotal evidence that companion animals sense low mood, anxiety, and agitation.
“It’s like she knows I’m not feeling well,”one Oregon woman told us about her beagle, Mackenzie. “When she snuggles in my lap it calms me.”
You’ll find sentiments like that echoed in “Friends with Benefits,” in the new Spring 2015 issue of bp Magazine. Plus, spending quality time with a companion animal—visiting with a therapy dog, having a dog at home, stroking a cat, even watching goldfish— links to better cardiovascular health, combats stress, and eases depression and anxiety.
Read entire article at BP Magazine
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