Programs that provide training for individuals with small dogs or other gentle pets who want to participate in a pet assisted therapy program in which they visit people residing in hospitals, nursing facilities or other institutional settings who are ill or elderly or have disabilities; or who want go to schools, libraries and other settings and serve as reading companions for children. The workshops address animal assisted therapy techniques, basic obedience skills (such as "sit", "down", "stay", "walk with me", and "come") that are necessary for safe and successful therapy visits, the importance of each of the skills in a health care setting, and training in working with and around health care equipment. Some programs include an evaluation in which the dog must sit, stay, come, down, walk politely on a leash and be calm and friendly during all required tasks. Other pets must be friendly and well mannered.
Programs that provide opportunities for individuals with any of a wide range of disabilities and others (e.g., victims of assault or abuse, people who have recently suffered a tragic loss, incarcerated offenders, at risk youth) to relate to, handle, groom and ride horses as a part of an experiential habilitation or therapy program in which the horse serves as a co-facilitator or co-therapist. Equestrian therapy provides an experience with horses that fosters growth, communication skills, self-esteem, self-awareness, healing and personal transformation. Clients learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, and then discussing feelings, behaviours and patterns. Therapy goals for different populations may differ, e.g., treatment for children with autism may focus on behaviour modification and improvement.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles: Copyright Notice.