Here at Mullum Road Clinic, we employ Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) dogs to help individuals suffering from a variety of conditions. Spending time with a therapy animal has been shown to be beneficial in interactions with the hearing impaired. Read on to learn more about this innovative approach to therapy and how it may be able to help you if you, or someone you know, has hearing loss.
You may also be interested in reading an article published by Connect Hearing that we contributed to,
‘How Hearing Loss Impacts Daily Life and the Workplace’.
What Is Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT)?
Animal Assisted Therapy involves the use of therapy animals, in our case dogs, to help individuals overcome various issues. This treatment method is already popular in the United States and has been garnering a lot of recent attention in Australia as well. We are amongst some of the first organisations to make a commitment to using this type of therapy in helping our clients. Therapy patients meet with their therapist and therapy animal together to gain insight into their interpersonal interactions, alleviate stress and anxiety, and develop social skills. The chief duties of our ‘therapy dogs’, Casper, Parti, Bronson, and Milo, include building rapport with clients, particularly with young people, as well as helping in counselling sessions.
How Can AAT Help Those with Hearing Loss?
If you’ve been able to hear clearly for the majority of your life, experiencing hearing loss can be traumatic at first. Working with a therapy animal can help to lower your blood pressure, reduce stress and calm anxieties. You may find that even in just a few short sessions with a therapy dog that you’re able to feel more comfortable talking with a therapist about any problems you are experiencing.
When it’s a child or a young person who has hearing loss our therapy dogs can be especially beneficial, as we usually find they respond really positively to interactions with therapy dogs.
A disability or impairment, regardless of the nature, has an enormous impact on the entire family unit. As such, it is not uncommon for Mullum Road Clinic Psychologists to begin working with the parents of a young infant diagnosed with a hearing impairment, then progress to seeing the child individually to assist with comorbid difficulties such as anxiety and adjustment issues. We also tend to liaise heavily with the child’s kinder, school or educational facility. Our multidisciplinary approach means we have developed close relationships with local Speech Pathologists and Paediatricians, who may also form part of a team approach in assisting the family.
Is Animal Assisted Therapy Right for You?
AAT can be used to treat a broad range of conditions. If you were recently diagnosed with hearing loss, it is likely that you are experiencing some stress and anxiety about this major change in your life. Animal Assisted Therapy could be just the thing to help you overcome any fears.
At Mullum Road Clinic in Ringwood, our friendly staff can help match you to the right Psychologist experienced in a certain type of Therapy or you can look up information on any of our Psychologists on the Our Team page.
All our psychologists are registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency