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What is
Animal Assisted Therapy?

This is Lambie

Companionship provides many physical and mental health benefits.  Crossroads Group Home uses an Animal Assisted Therapy Program stressing the benefits of animals and birds of many varieties.  The Program is based on the Green Chimneys Model written by Dr. Samuel Ross of Brewster, New York. Dr. Ross is an internationally renowned expert in the field of Animal Assisted Therapy with over 40 years experience in working with the human/animal bond.
 
Having animals in one's environment facilitates a variety of benefits such as reducing stress related to PTSD and hastening recovery. Research conducted by the Delta Society has also shown that the presence of an animal produces positive results in safety, self esteem and dealing with loneliness and depression.
 
Animals can be an emotional outlet as residents communicate using verbal and non-verbal techniques with animals in the Crossroads Group Home program.  Residents gain a calming effect first and foremost when animals are used in interventions.  Animal companionship is so beneficial because unlike human interaction, it is uncomplicated.  Animals are non-judgmental, accepting, attentive and non-threatening.  They give residents an opportunity to develop a sense of responsibility and offer a non-threatening outlet for physical contact so desperately needed when treating victims of child sexual abuse.
 
Time for a bath!!!Residents take part daily in the routine of a working farm, including the care of over 75 animals that live on the center's 10+ acres. Although the mere presence of animals is therapeutic for the residents, nurturance with sexual abuse victims is the chief benefit. Children who are emotionally scarred as a direct result of some type abuse also benefit from the rehabilitation component of the AATP.
 
Dr. Ross believes that "Mending a bird's wings appears to rehabilitate the damaged psyche as children relate to and identify with injured or unwanted animals".  Rehabilitation is an important component to the AATP.  Helping another life through the caring of disabled or unwanted animals, Crossroads Group Home residents foster notions of nurturing and develope a foundation for movement to survivorship.
 
Residents at Crossroads Group Home participate in the Crossroads 4-H Club as an integral component of the AATP.  The Clemson University Extension service chartered the Crossroads 4-H club in September of 1994.  Extension agents as well as team leaders facilitate 4-H groups on a weekly basis addressing various topics directly related to the Crossroads AATP.  Outings and projects such as Farm City Days, sponsored in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture is one example of the versatility of experience through 4-H.
 
Other AATP groups are held weekly according to client needs as set forth in ITP's.  Groups are an important part of each days routine.  Groups are held addressing topics such as habitat for specific animals, the development process of animals, care and feeding and training.
 
Once on appropriate levels (3 and above) residents are afforded much more 1:1 contact with all animals through an Equestrian riding component or the special care of certain animals.

Amigo looking for his buddy, Jake 

What is?

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Animal Assisted Therapy
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