Animal Therapy

Wisdom Within Counseling, LLC. Marriage and Family Therapy. 461 Main St. Niantic, CT 06357. Call/Text 860- 451-9364. KatieZiskindMFT@gmail.com. www.WisdomWithinCT.com

Join For Next Animal-Assisted Therapy Group!

Animal therapy is an evidence-based experiential therapy that changes traditional group counseling into an interactive, movement-based, hands-on process where children and adolescents socialize and connect peer to peer with each other. Additionally, I keep these animal therapy and adventure, hike therapy groups small, so children and teens feel safe and supported by the other members. The groups provide a space to challenge your child or teen and help them grow, thus developing social-emotional learning skills.

Benefits of Being in an Animal Therapy Group

Rather than being treated as a problem child or someone who needs to be fixed, the animal therapy groups for adolescents, help boost self-confidence, promote healthy self esteem and self acceptance, emotional regulation, and positive coping skills. In their own words, parents have shared how their child/adolescent feels like they belong in the world.

Does Your Child/Adolescent Need Social-Emotional Skills?

Parents also share how they enjoy that their child is being engaged and stimulated in new ways as a positive part of the counseling process and animal therapy groups. In the individual or family session directly after the group, together, we process conflicts that occurred in group, conflict resolution skills, assertiveness skills, and “I feel,” feedback with other group members.


What happens in group therapy?

As an extension and to supplement the goals stated in individual and family therapy, on Sunday, May 27th 2018, adolescents joined for the Goat Animal Therapy Group in East Lyme, CT. The goats facilitated attachment, trust, bonding, social skills with other group members, and help clients build emotional regulation. Additionally, the group members learned how to take care of goats and how goats take care of each other.

Fun Facts: Goats and Emotional Regulation

We learned that goats need at least one best friend in life, similarly to humans- they need a buddy. ZeZe, one of the goats, was pregnant and due at the end of June. The other goat in the animal therapy group, Ronan, was one year old, and loved being fed raisins and marshmallows. In fact, goats have rectangular pupils, so they can see predators. Clients loved the dramatized, “baah,” and laughed a lot! In conclusion, we talked about what sounds humans make when they are anxious, scared, happy, and so on. A big thank you to Missy Miko.

What Is Equine Therapy?

In animal therapy groups, I also offer equine therapy in addition to goats, chickens, and a number of other animals. Equine therapy, with horses, involves activities (such as grooming, feeding, haltering and leading a horse) that are supervised by Wisdom Within Counseling, often with the support of a horse.

Animal Therapy Groups in Niantic, CT

Equine Therapy is also called Horse Therapy, Equine-Assisted Therapy, and Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy, which is a form of experiential therapy similar to yoga, art, and movement therapy, that involves interactions between you or your teen and the horses. Likewise, I specifically provide a group for adolescents, teens, and young adults at High Hopes in Old Lyme, Connecticut and at other neighboring animal farms. I offer groups with different types of animals to keep up a great variety and to build social learning skills.

Group Therapy Techniques Compliment Weekly Sessions in Niantic, CT

In my family therapy practice, use highly effective, skill-based therapies to help your child, adolescent, or teen function better in school, at home, and into college years and beyond.

Read more about each of these below.

Art Therapy

Nutrition

Animal Therapy

Yoga Therapy for PTSD

Why Animal Therapy?

Research For Your Reading

Read this wonderful, in-depth research paper by my sister, Becky Ziskind, backing up and highlighting the benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy with science.

The Adolescent Group Members

Identify how horses feel and express their emotions.

Observe emotional-behavior patterns and process thoughts and emotions

Encourage the development of needed skills and attributes, such as accountability, leadership, listening, responsibility, self-awareness, compassion, empathy, self-confidence, problem-solving skills, and self-control.

What are the Benefits of Equine Therapy?

Numerous research studies have indicated that equine therapy has been successful in helping people excel in the following areas:

  • Assertiveness
  • Emotional awareness
  • Empathy
  • Stress tolerance
  • Flexibility
  • Impulse control
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Self-actualization
  • Independence
  • Self-regard
  • Social responsibility
  • Interpersonal relationships
Did You Know?

Horses and other animals are typically non-judgmental, have no preconceived expectations or motives, and are highly effective at mirroring attitudes, showing care, and facilitating positive change in behaviors of the humans with whom they are working.

What Conditions/Disorders Does Equine Therapy Treat?

Additionally, equine therapy has been successfully woven into various other therapeutic practices such as with people with PTSD. At Wisdom Within Counseling, adolescents, young adults, and teenagers, participate in equine therapy when also working on one or more of the following: substance abuse, addiction, behavior disorders, mood disorders, anxiety, school refusal, peer issues, divorcing parents, depression, juvenile court/legal issues, eating disorders, learning differences, ADD/ADHD, autism, grief/loss, trauma, addiction, gambling, bipolar, depression and related conditions.

Call Katie for your free 15-minute consultation to talk about how animal therapy (860) 451-9364.