Constant depression, lack of self-esteem and loneliness often take away our will to live. People with mental problems should start therapy as soon as possible. Otherwise, their condition will continue to deteriorate. One of the most effective ways to fight a bad mood and lack of self-acceptance is felinotherapy. Thanks to it, the elderly, disabled and children with disabilities can learn to live in harmony with themselves and their environment. Many people suffering from depression or neurosis do not want to take medications. Nevertheless, they need treatment. An alternative method of fighting malaise and mental instability may be felinotherapy. What is it and how does it affect our health?
Felinotherapy – what is it?
As felinotherapy in Poland is just developing, not everyone knows that it is one of the most effective techniques of animal therapy. During therapy sessions, patients spend time with their cat. A calm animal allows you to get rid of any mental disorders. Touching the soft fur has a calming and relaxing effect. In therapeutic sessions, the cat plays only the role of the psychotherapist’s assistant. Therefore, during the meetings, patients are under the best care. Felinotherapy works well for lonely people, people with disabilities, people with depression and children with various disorders. Taking care of an animal arouses sympathy and delicacy in patients. According to specialists, thanks to felinotherapy it is easier to make new contacts and integrate with the environment.
Felinotherapy – what is it?
The therapy is mainly about spending time with the cat and its guardian. Being in the company of an animal allows you to develop many abilities. Taking care of him will give them a chance to learn responsibility but also sensitivity. During the therapy, patients play with the cat, which over time becomes a great entertainment for them. The animal is a great friend to man. Some people like to talk to him, which makes them feel less lonely. Felinotherapy involves not only playing with the cat, but also spending time with it. Just looking at an animal’s behavior is very enlightening. The observation of the cat makes patients reflect. It is believed that felinotherapy is able to reduce the tendency to aggression or anti-social behavior. Spending time with your cat and meeting its needs teaches responsibility. A therapist is also present at the therapeutic sessions. When patients observe the cat’s sometimes playful behavior, they begin to manifest themselves. The animal gives an excuse for conversations. Therefore, during therapy, it is easier to talk to a specialist about your feelings and ailments.
Felinotherapy – who is it suitable for?
Animal therapy is used in the treatment of many diseases. Animals have a great approach to humans. So recently it started to be used in therapies. Both dog therapy and felinotherapy allow you to develop many skills. They are used in kindergartens or school and education centers for a reason. The use of a cat for therapy is an ideal solution when the patient has difficulties with making contacts. We have already mentioned that the animal gives reasons to start a conversation. Thanks to felinotherapy, it is easier for the patient to talk about any problems.
Felinotherapy – Therapy for the elderly
Felinotherapy is often used in nursing homes. When playing with cats, seniors forget about loneliness. While stroking the cat’s fur in the body, the production of happiness hormones is increased. This way, older people feel happier. Keeping your pet on your lap gives you a sense of security. The balanced behavior of cats fits perfectly into the quiet life of seniors. It is worth adding that just spending time with a cat has therapeutic properties. For some, the mere observation of an animal is a good entertainment and a pretext for interesting conversations.
Felinotherapy – Therapy for the disabled
People with disabilities often feel lonely and unacceptable. Felinotherapy helps them open up. Innovative therapy allows you to easily find yourself in a new environment. Cats are a lot of fun. It is worth paying attention to the fact that the animals behave quite calmly during play, which means that they do not pose a threat to disabled children. A gentle way of being even makes the little ones calmer. Felinotherapy works well as a complement to the traditional therapy of mentally disabled people and people with physical disabilities. Recently, it has been used more and more often when a patient needs to develop the ability to show emotions. Contact with the cat facilitates the process of externalization. Therefore, they are perfect as a form of therapy.
Felinotherapy – Therapy for children with various disorders
Cats are very social animals. Therefore, felinotherapy works well in the therapy of shy children. Experts believe that caring for a cat can develop many positive qualities in an adolescent. Animal therapy is a great solution for socially inhibited children. Thanks to it, it is easier for the youngest to integrate. Spending time with a cat has a therapeutic effect on hyperactive children. Patients learn responsibility and patience through contact with an animal. Specialists more and more often recommend felinotherapy in the case of children with Asperger’s syndrome, Down syndrome, autism and behavioral and emotional disorders. The so-called cat therapy is also helpful in treating children with anxiety disorders.
The effects of felinotherapy
For many people, therapy is the only way to regain full mental health. People with depression or children with disabilities often need companionship. Felinotherapy is the perfect solution for them. Staying in the same room with your cat makes you feel better. All because stroking the animal stimulates the body to secrete more happiness hormones. Most people feel a pleasant bliss when hugging a cat. Especially if the animal purrs gently. Thanks to felinotherapy, lonely people can feel needed again. The elderly feel that they are important to someone when caring for a cat. This is especially important in the case of seniors who have problems with self-esteem. Felinotherapy has positive effects also in children. While playing with the cat, the youngest learn patience. Contact with an animal allows you to easily develop sensitivity in children. Cats don’t always act as we would like them to. For this reason, felinotherapy encourages the child to self-control and self-control.
In people undergoing felinotherapy, the following can be noticed:
- greater tendency to integrate,
- better mood,
- more patience,
- greater self-esteem.
Felinotherapy in depression
Depression is a very serious disease. A significant proportion of people struggling with the disorder cannot cope with it. In the case of mental illnesses, it is important not only to take pharmaceuticals regularly, but also to take appropriate therapy. In Poland, felinotherapy is just developing. It is believed that contact with the cat and its guardian gives a chance for a significant improvement in health. Especially when it comes to singles. Spending time in the company of an animal is a good escape from the gray reality. Taking care of a cat requires commitment from patients. When sick people see that their pets become attached to them, they begin to feel needed and important. Such a state increases self-esteem, which in depression is a great progress. We have already mentioned that spending time with your cat is a great excuse for conversations. Experts say that thanks to felinotherapy, people with depression are able to learn to integrate with the environment. This is extremely important because through conversation patients can share their problems with others.
Felinotherapy – a course for a cat and a caregiver
During felinotherapy, not only the cat, but also its guardian, plays an important role. The therapist must know how to deal with the animal so that it has a proper influence on the patient. For this reason, psychotherapists who want to use felinotherapy in their centers must undergo specialist training. It is good to participate in the course with your own cat. However, such a possibility is offered by a few training centers. The prices of the courses range from PLN 1,500 to PLN 2,000. The cost of training depends on its duration and scope. When choosing a course of felinotherapy, it is best to choose one that teaches theory and practice at the same time. After the training, the guardian and his cat have to pass exams. A positive test result entitles you to receive a certificate. The document authorizes to conduct felinotherapy, among others in centers for the disabled,
Felinotherapy in theory and practice
Conducting felinotherapy requires a great deal of knowledge and experience from the psychotherapist. For this reason, it is important to choose a course that focuses on a center that focuses on both theory and practice. Theoretical classes most often include learning the basics of felinology and felinotherapy. During the course, tutors learn to develop therapy scenarios. Practical exercises may take place in nursing homes, centers for the disabled or in educational and educational centers. The workshops show how to deal with a cat during therapy and how to prepare it for it. Practical classes usually start with observation. With time, when the students see what the work of a cat carer looks like, they begin to take part in felinotherapy themselves.