Domestic abuse can be devastating to anyone who experiences it. It's important to take steps toward healing and recovery, but it can be difficult to get started. One way to start your healing is through emotional support animal therapy (ESA). ESA therapy has been shown to help people with post-traumatic stress disorder recover from the trauma they've experienced by providing them with a companion who provides unconditional love and comfort. ESA therapy is an increasingly common option for domestic abuse survivors because of how effective it can be at helping someone move past their trauma and begin working toward happiness again.
What is Emotional Support Animal Therapy?
Emotional Support Animal Therapy (ESA therapy) is a type of animal-assisted therapy (AAT). ESA therapy uses trained and certified animals to help people cope with trauma, stress, anxiety and depression.
Do your Research
If you think that ESA therapy might be a good fit for you, it’s important to do your research. The first thing to understand is that ESA therapy is still relatively new and there isn’t a lot of research available on the subject yet. There are some studies underway, but they are still preliminary and don’t give us all the answers we need. This means that some people may feel like they have no choice but to turn to anecdotal evidence when deciding whether or not an animal can help them with their PTSD or depression symptoms. If this is something you feel compelled to do, make sure that you get your information from reputable sources (such as legitimate medical journals) rather than dubious ones (like blogs). Also keep in mind that just because something works for one person doesn't mean it will work for everyone else--ESAs work differently depending on each person's unique circumstances!
Talk to Your Doctor
If you believe that an emotional support animal may be able to help you, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can refer you to a therapist who specializes in domestic abuse recovery, or they can make sure that the therapy services are covered by your insurance. ESA therapy is not a substitute for therapy or medication; it's simply another tool in the arsenal of tools we have when recovering from trauma. An ESA doesn't take the place of a human being—it just helps us feel safe and secure while we build up our coping skills, so we can get back on track with our lives!
Consider Using a Breed That is Recognized for Their Calm Demeanor
When considering a breed to use as an emotional support animal, it is important to remember that the pet will be living with and around other people. Therefore, it is crucial that you choose a breed that can maintain its calm demeanor when not alone with you. The following breeds are known for their calm demeanor:
- Labrador Retriever
- Golden Retriever
Do not pick a dog who is prone to barking or howling excessively, or one who has strong prey drive (i.e., chasing small animals). If your dog does have any of these traits, consider training them out of them so they do not disturb your neighbors or roommates.
Find a Local Trainer with Experience in Trauma Healing
When looking for a local dog trainer, make sure they have experience in trauma healing, but also with emotional support animals. Look for a trainer who is certified or licensed by the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), or the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). These certifications will help you find a professional who has had formal training and can provide you with the best service possible.
If you’re still unsure of where to look, it may be helpful to ask friends and family members if they know anyone who has used a dog trainer before. You might even want to post on social media asking for recommendations from others who have used dog trainers themselves!
Enroll Your Pet in Basic Training Classes
It's important to enroll your pet in basic training classes. The benefits of these classes include:
- Leash training
- Sit, stay, down
- Come when called
- Leave it when food is dropped on the ground
This will help you gain more control over your pet and have a more positive relationship with them. In addition to basic obedience, we recommend that all pets learn no jumping on people or furniture (including jumping off furniture), no stealing food from the countertop or table, no biting or barking at other animals or people, and no counter surfing (i.e., getting into cabinets/drawers/cupboards).
Emotional support animal (ESA) therapy helps victims of domestic violence and abuse begin to heal from trauma.
Emotional support animal (ESA) therapy is one form of therapy that uses a pet as a companion to help patients cope with anxiety and stress. ESA therapy has been used for many years by people suffering from trauma, including those who have been victims of domestic violence or abuse.
Many types of animals can be certified as ESAs, but dogs are most commonly used in this type of treatment. Because these canines are so friendly, they're often able to put people at ease very quickly—even strangers who may otherwise feel uneasy around other people will often warm up to them right away! This makes it much easier for patients who've suffered long-term abuse or trauma: simply having their dog there with them helps them feel safe and secure again in their own home environment after such an ordeal has ended (or never even occurred).
One of the most important things to remember when taking on this type of therapy is to be patient and kind with yourself. It can be a very challenging process and not everyone will find it works for them. If you do decide to try it out, make sure that you do your research and find a qualified professional who can help guide you through the process. Good luck!