Episode 24: Colleen Hansen and Joe Newton on the importance of pet therapy

In today’s episode we talk to Colleen Hansen and Joe Newton who is also the co host of the hospice chaplaincy show on the importance of animal-assisted Therapy (AAT). Animal‐assisted therapy (AAT) is defined as “The introduction of an animal into the immediate surroundings of an individual, or a group, as a medium of interaction with a therapeutic purpose” Also known as pet‐therapy.

Animal‐assisted therapy is currently provided by various health‐care or human service professionals within the bounds of their particular field of expertise. The therapeutic use of animals can occur in three basic ways: (i) pets are used as companions for individuals who are either living independently in their own home or in assisted living facilities; (ii) pets are used in institutions where they help to stimulate and/or be companions to the residents; and (iii) animals visit institutions to help stimulate the residents’ interest and provide a topic of conversation.

Hospice Chaplaincy is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting excellence in spiritual care at the end of life. We are committed to the belief that people from all backgrounds, cultures and faith traditions should experience the end of life in a way that matches their own spiritual/religious values and goals. The task of dying is complicated and often confronts us with lots of spiritual, emotional and physical suffering. Hospice Chaplaincy is dedicated to providing support and professional development resources for hospice chaplains, patient advocacy, and education services to the public, to create a cultural shift to inform and transform our thinking around the psychosocial and psychospiritual issues at the end of life .

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