The Psych Professionals is thrilled to have been featured in an article lauding the health benefits of having pets by Bupa Pet Insurance. The recently published post, ‘The Health Benefits of Having Pets ‘, provides our insight into the roles pets play in improving our mental health, along with five other leading psychology experts in Australia.
Here at The Psych Professionals, we’re a Southeast Queensland psychology clinic with two practices – one in Capalaba and one in Loganholme. We have several professionally trained psychologists at each practice, one of which is accompanied by two therapy-dogs-in-training. Bonnie and Lily work with their mum and clinical psychologist, Franki Treccase. You will often see them at the practice making our clients feel welcome.
There is an ever-growing wealth of information on ways pets can improve their owners’ physical health, with improvements to their general health, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. But in our field of work the psychological benefits are the most visible.
We see daily how pets tackle mental health issues from all angles. One of the main advantages is the way pets encourage their owners to engage in a range of physical activities including walking, playing and generally being more active. This is because most people understand that pet ownership is a responsibility. Behavioural activation is an important evidence-based intervention for treating mental illness such as depression as it gives individuals a purpose.
As you walk your pet you will also be opened up to more possibility for social connection, through conversing with other pet owners, stopping for pats and the accompanying small talk, at your local vet and obedience training classes. A pet is a ticket into your community and comes with the pleasant side effect of improved mental health.
The emotional benefits of pet ownership are probably the most special. The special animal in your life provides unconditional love and affection, a non-judgmental ear that is always willing to listen and unwavering loyalty – a hard to beat combination for a companion.
We’re currently preparing our own canines for use as therapy dogs in our private practice. We never hesitate to recommend pet ownership for our clients, as well as friends and family – in fact everyone can benefit from the dedication a pet can show!
As Bupa writes, our ‘practice not only treats a full range of mental health conditions, it also assists people with personal development, decision-making, problem-solving, and coaching to improve their individual, social, and work lives.’
If you want to know more about pets and the role they play in our psychological health, get in touch with us today!