Category Archive: Family and Friends Ideas

Animal-assisted Therapy

Animals are an important part of many people’s lives — their mere presence can contribute to human’s happiness, making their life more meaningful. However, animals may do more than just provide companionship.

New research suggests they can improve emotional, social and cognitive functioning in adolescents with severe mental disorders. The study, published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, examined the effects of animal-assisted therapy, which is an intervention involving guided interaction between a patient and a trained animal. The purpose of this intervention is to aid a patient’s recovery process.

“The young patients who feel fragile, needy and dependent on others in the hospital context, can experience themselves as caretakers of someone else in the [animal-assisted therapy] environment,” researchers said, according to The Pacific Standard. “This experience can improve their sense of self-agency and self-cure, and these positive effects are not only limited to the human-animal bond, but can be extended to the patient’s global functioning and to the entire process of care.”

Source: medicaldaily.com – Read more here

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A complete developmental history is often needed and this is typically best provided by parents and/or carers.

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Many young people on the ward struggle with intimacy and trust. It is very likely they will take this struggle into any new friendships, but the ward can be a great way to learn how to manage this struggle.

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Parents and staff can help young people establish high-quality friendships that provide skills in validation, intimacy, companionship and conflict resolution.

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All members of the MDT get a regular up to date working knowledge of any family problems

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Staff take into account family history and current functioning: genetic and psychosocial factors, household composition, history of parent’s own childhood, life events, sibling relationships, parental strengths and difficulties, absent parents, separated parents relationship.

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Facilitating friend time, letting them study and spend social time together or even allowing them to safely share in each other’s therapeutic goals.

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While staff can facilitate activities and social activities, it’s important to let the young people find their own friends.

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Friendship is entering into a relationship. Friends do things for each other and listen to each other. Young people need to know how to be a giver, not just a taker, in the relationship. Staff can help them to find ways to support each other.

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It is much better to facilitate supportive friendships that allow some growth rather than control young people.

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