Animal-Assisted Therapy in Florida

animal and human bond

Recent studies have documented the positive effect that a human-animal relationship can have, with a measurable reduction of stress levels and significant psychological impact, especially for individuals who have closed themselves off from human relationships and their own emotional states. Therapy with animals can allow these individuals to open themselves up and examine critical issues that relate to their substance abuse or mental health problems. At Seaside Palm Beach, we provide animal-assisted therapy for addiction for all our patients who undergo luxury drug and alcohol rehab here at our facility.


What Is Animal Assisted Therapy?

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a therapeutic strategy that uses animals to support, reassure, and encourage patients who are receiving care for physical or mental health difficulties. Hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and institutions for mental health are just a few places where AAT, like equine-assisted therapy, can be offered. 

From horses, bunnies, and dolphins to dogs and cats, many different creatures can be utilized as therapy animals. A qualified therapist or handler guides the therapy and collaborates with the animal to provide the patient with a secure and comforting setting.


How Animals Can Relieve Stress

Research has shown that interacting with animals, particularly in a structured therapeutic setting, can have a dramatic impact on an individual’s sense of well-being, stress levels, and overall mental health. The human/animal connection goes back thousands of years in human history, with animals providing human beings with numerous tangible and intangible benefits.

Spending time with animals can have a calming effect on the body, lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels, which is a hormone associated with stress. Additionally, petting an animal can release oxytocin, a hormone that helps to promote feelings of relaxation and well-being. The simple act of spending time with an animal, whether it’s a dog, cat, or even a fish, can help to reduce stress and improve overall mood.

Anyone who has ever owned a pet or spent a significant amount of time around one understands the inherent stress relief they offer. A pet’s unconditional love can often make us feel like they are our best and perhaps only friend in the world. 

This understanding is what prompted Seaside Palm Beach to create a residential rehab program where our patients are allowed to bring their pets to our facility. Engaging in animal-assisted therapy can help so many individuals stay on track in their recovery efforts. 

Stress can be a major factor in the onset of drug triggers. When patients experience pain and discomfort during treatment from our drug and alcohol detox programs, the love of a pet can really help them get through difficult moments.


The Benefits of Animal-Assisted Therapy for Addiction

Going through the rehab process removes patients from their everyday lives. Permitting their pets to stay with them gives them some comfort in familiarity while also giving them the responsibility to care for another life. This promotes the type of selflessness and self-awareness needed to succeed in addiction recovery. The pets themselves serve as forms of rehabilitation.

Oftentimes, it is best for patients to spend time with pets in therapy, as opposed to opening up to friends and family. Pets offer a non-judgmental ear that recovering substance abusers need. There are many different types of therapy approaches that specifically help addicted individuals overcome the disease, and animal-assisted therapy is one of them.

Additionally, animals can offer a sense of companionship and social support, which can be especially beneficial for those who are under stress due to feelings of isolation or loneliness. 

The sense of discipline and routine that comes with owning a pet might be helpful for people who are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. The positive impacts of stress can also be mitigated by caring for a pet, which can provide one with a feeling of purpose and meaning. Overall, having pets can help with stress management and general well-being.

The support of an animal companion can go a long way during the recovery journey, and many people rely on their pet’s love during this time. Recovering addicts may feel lonely or empty during rehab, and being in the presence of animals can truly help them cope. If you are struggling with addiction and you don’t know where to turn, our luxury treatment center in Palm Beach can help you overcome this disease. We provide animal-assisted therapy for addiction at our facility, and our patients find support through this companionship.

Contact Us at Our Pet-Friendly Rehab Today

For more information on our options for residential addiction treatment in Palm Beach and how we can help, feel free to reach out.


Pets and Addiction Treatment

Animal ownership can provide immeasurable therapeutic value to addiction recovery patients. Practically every pet owner has experienced the stress-relieving benefits of a life with their animal friends: the unconditional love they provide when it seems like you’re at odds with the entire world; the exercise benefits you both get from play-time; the constant companionship, etc. Seaside Palm Beach has blended pets and addiction treatment to develop a one-of-a-kind recovery program where animal lovers can lean on their non-human friends for strength and support.


How Does Seaside Palm Beach Combine Pets and Addiction Treatment?

This innovative therapy allows clients to have their pets with them during treatment to give them that same sense of warmth and comfort many pet owners experience when they see their animals at the end of a long and arduous day. Most patients who select this program are overwhelmed with joy at the prospect of having their animals with them during this challenging process. 

The therapy works for most dependency problems – pets and drug rehab, as well as pets and alcohol rehab are proven combinations in helping clients who are animal lovers to recover. By the very nature of their presence during treatment, pets become part of the treatment themselves.


Benefits of Pet Companionship and Addiction Treatment

In addition to the immediate physical and emotional benefits, such as exercise, companionship, and unconditional loyalty, this program also affords patients warmth, familiarity, and a benign and comforting reminder of their life before rehab. 

By giving themselves the task of caring for something, patients can reacquaint themselves with the concepts of selflessness and nurturing. Integrating pets and addiction treatment goes beyond giving patients their own separate living space to maintain, and makes them responsible for a life other than their own.


The Proven Results of Combining Pets and Addiction Treatment

Numerous addiction studies suggest that spending time with a pet can be more beneficial than even opening up to a family member or loved one. This makes sense given how guarded patients with addictions or mental disorders tend to be. They find, in their animal, a completely non-judgmental sounding board for their fears, complaints, reservations, and troubles. 

Overall the combination of pets and addiction treatment has been dramatically underutilized, despite its numerous benefits and proven results. Animals have no hidden agenda related to your recovery and no manipulative inclinations; just the biological instinct to bond with their owners and offer support and connection that humans can find literally nowhere else. 

Not many residential treatment centers integrate pets and addiction treatment due to licensing issues and logistical difficulties. Seaside Palm Beach’s commitment to this program is just another example of our above-and-beyond approach to treatment.

Contact us at our pet-friendly rehab today for more information on our options for residential addiction treatment in Palm Beach and how we can help.


  1. BMC Psychiatry: Animal-assisted therapy on happiness and life quality of chronic psychiatric patients living in psychiatric residential care homes: a randomized controlled study

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