The Importance of Aftercare in Addiction Treatment

The Importance of Aftercare in Addiction Treatment

You have completed an inpatient treatment program and now you’re cured! Unfortunately, that is not the case. There is no known cure for addiction however there is treatment and rehab is only part of that treatment.

Statistics and common sense dictate that the longer someone receives treatment, the better their success rate at achieving and maintaining sobriety. This is where the importance of aftercare in addiction treatment comes into the picture.

What is Meant by Inpatient Rehab?

Inpatient rehab, or residential, refers to the stage of addiction treatment that involves staying in a facility and receiving intensive therapy. Inpatient treatment is the first step of addiction treatment and usually lasts for about 30 days.

What is Meant by Aftercare in Addiction Treatment?

Aftercare refers to further interventions and treatment that follow rehab. It is additional support that is given following completion from the residential part of the program. Aftercare in addiction treatment can take many forms and can be any combination of these forms of support that involve teaching new skills and coping strategies.

The Importance of Aftercare in Addiction Treatment

The importance of aftercare in addiction treatment becomes clear in its results: people who receive some type of aftercare are less likely to relapse and more likely to live longer. Aftercare in addiction treatment can help you to stay motivated and provide support when your journey gets a little bumpy. You will acquire knowledge and skills from the treatment facility but, the most important learning takes place during normal everyday living. Aftercare in addiction treatment will support you in finding new solutions as new problems in recovery arise. In this way, the importance of aftercare treatment becomes evident: you will bank new and effective coping strategies in the time you spend out of inpatient but while getting aftercare support.

Relapse and the Importance of Aftercare in Addiction Treatment

Unfortunately, relapse affects a great many in recovery. Relapse is not inevitable, though. It is known that people who have a strong aftercare treatment plan are more aware of their relapse triggers and so they are more likely to spot the warning signs that they are heading for a relapse. The importance of aftercare in addiction treatment when it comes to relapse patterns is that these preventive measures are the most effective at stopping a relapse in its tracks.

Types of Aftercare

Intensive Outpatient Therapy (IOP)

IOP is the perfect supplement to inpatient rehab because you get to attend individual and group therapy during the day and then have the afternoon and evening for getting back to work or enjoying hobbies or having simple down time. IOP is a good idea because you can continue therapy and the progress you were making while in rehab instead of abruptly stopping after completing treatment.

Halfway House/Sober Living Community

After completing an inpatient program, it is an extremely good idea to live in a halfway house or sober living community before returning home or getting your own place. Halfway houses, sober houses, and sober living communities provide a supportive environment where you live among other people who are staying sober and working towards their recovery. It’s a good stepping stone to rejoining society at-large: there is less structure than rehab but more structure than living alone.

12 Step Meetings and Other Support Groups

There are 12 Step fellowships and Non-Twelve Step groups who hold meetings as a form of a recovery-based support group where members can attend at no cost and share in their experiences with others like them. Members find empathy, encouragement, and even networking at these meetings.

Booster sessions

Former patients of a rehabilitation program are sometimes offered what is called “booster sessions” depending on the facility and its policies. Booster sessions are a way for recently graduated patients to continue to receive counseling once they have completed the program.

Private Counseling

Continuing previous or beginning new counseling and therapy with a private therapist is another form of aftercare. Counseling address issues relating to recovery and addiction as well as to a dual diagnosis such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. A great many addicts also have a co-occurring mental illness.

 

 

 

 

 

Source:

http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/

Private rehab vs. State Funded Rehab

Private rehab vs. State Funded Rehab

The term “rehab” is short for the word rehabilitation and refers to a facility that offers treatment for drug abuse and addiction. Rehab sometimes includes a medical detox program that serves the purpose of helping alcohol- and drug-dependent people to ease completely off substances with less discomfort than going cold turkey, or stopping abruptly.  Another part of rehab is the inpatient program. This part of treatment involves therapy that addresses drug addiction behaviors and coping mechanisms to utilize in a sober lifestyle.

Funding

There are two types of rehabs: private rehab and state funded rehab. The main difference between these is the way in which the programs are funded.

Private rehab provides services by being funded either by out-of-pocket payment by the patient or by the patient’s health insurance plan. If you have private insurance through your employer or through your spouse’s or another family member’s employer, then more than likely you can attend a private rehab that is in-network with that plan and only have to pay a deductible, if the plan requires it. Some plans do not even have a deductible in which case you can attend a private rehab with no out-of-pocket cost to you.

State funded rehab is just that: its services are able to exist and be provided to those who cannot afford to pay for rehab or who do not have insurance with support of state funding through tax revenue and/or grants.

Services and Amenities

Another way in which private rehab and state funded rehab differs is in the quality and extent of the services that they provide.

Usually, private rehab offers many more amenities that can make your stay more comfortable. A private rehab provides a resort-like atmosphere with some “extras” besides room, board, and therapy. Oftentimes, they offer spa experiences, yoga, meditation, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments and so on.

State funded rehab provides adequate services that can help anyone get sober who is willing to do the work. It may not be as cushy as private rehab but it is sufficient and meets high standards of quality of care.

Types of Therapy

Both private rehab and state funded rehab offers therapy for substance abuse and addiction however, the type and intensity of the therapy differ between the two.

Private rehab offers alternative and holistic therapies such as Native American sweat lodges, music and art therapy, hypnotherapy, massage therapy, to name only a few. Private rehab also offers the industry standard of cognitive behavioral therapies in both one-on-one and group sessions.

State funded rehab also offer the widely accepted therapy approaches for substance abuse and addiction but often therapy sessions are in group settings because of funding and the growing demand for treatment by more and more people.

 

Other Considerations: Private Rehab vs. State Funded Rehab

You must be careful to do your research when considering a private rehab. Just because it is private does not mean that it is legitimate or accredited.

Because they must answer to state government and therefore taxpayers, state funded rehabs are strictly regulated. With state funded rehabs, at least you can be sure that treatment is uniform and meets industry standards.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.drugabuse.gov/

http://en.wikipedia.org

Exposure therapy in addiction treatment

Exposure therapy in addiction treatment

Exposure therapy is a specific type of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy technique that is often used in the treatment of PTSD and phobias, but exposure therapy is also used in addiction treatment. Exposure therapy in addiction treatment works the same way it does when it is used to treat PTSD and phobias.

Exposure therapy in addiction treatment, just like when it is used for patients with PTSD, is intended to help the patient face and gain control of their addiction. The way exposure therapy in addiction treatment does this is by literally exposing the addict or alcoholic to certain fears, triggers, traumas and stressors. Exposure therapy is done carefully so as not to flood the patient but rather build up to the most severe stressors. The point of this exposure therapy is to desensitize the addict or alcoholic to potential stressors and triggers.

There are many studies that point towards alcoholics and addicts having automatic responses to cues such as seeing as alcohol or places they may have used. Much like when someone who is hungry sees food wants to eat they believe that the alcoholic responds to alcohol in the same way. So in order to combat this exposure therapy in addiction treatment, literally exposes the alcoholic to cues that would normally create a response or want to drink in the alcoholic and gives the alcoholic or addict coping methods or techniques to use to combat and eventually no longer respond in the old way they used to.

Exposure therapy in addiction treatment is a very new concept that doesn’t have a lot of proof of effectiveness to back it up. The rates of relapse after someone has been through exposure therapy have not been studied. While exposure therapy for PTSD has been effective for the treatment of trauma and stress there has been no proof that it will work in addiction treatment. In fact, exposure therapy in addiction treatment could end up having the opposite effect, instead of helping actually hurting the alcoholic.

In one study this is what they had to say about exposure therapy in addiction treatment:

“There continues to be little evidence for the superior efficacy of Cue Exposure Therapy (CET) over other forms of substance abuse treatment. However, it should be emphasized that the efficacy trials did not find CET to be ineffective; indeed CET subjects improved significantly from baseline, though these improvements did not differ from the other active treatment conditions.”

And of course there are all the other problems that anyone who is in the addiction treatment field knows: “Studies investigating Cue Exposure Therapy continue to be challenged by a number of methodological problems, including small sample sizes, high dropout rates, lack of objective measures of substance use and lack of procedures for preventing substance use between extinction sessions.”

The truth about addiction and alcoholism most likely is that any kind of addiction treatment is better than no treatment at all. But when it comes to treating alcoholism and addiction, in my opinion, how can you possibly expect an alcoholic to want to stop drinking by exposing them to things that make them want to drink; even with the better tools to cope with it etc.

http://www.benthamscience.com/open/toaddj/articles/V003/SI0055TOADDJ/92TOADDJ.pdf

 

Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder

Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder

What is Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder?

Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) is a disorder characterized by a continual presence of sensory disturbances, most commonly visual, that are reminiscent of those generated by the use of hallucinogenic substances. Previous use of hallucinogens by the person is necessary, but not sufficient, for diagnosis of HPPD. For an individual to be diagnosed with HPPD, the symptoms cannot be due to another medical condition.

Is HPPD the Same Thing as Acid Flashbacks?

HPPD may be confused with acid flashbacks. However, HPPD is distinct from acid flashbacks by reason of its relative permanence; while acid flashbacks are brief and fleeting, HPPD is persistent. HPPD is an actual medically recognized mental condition and appears in the DSM-IV (diagnostic code 292.89).

Causes of Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder

The cause(s) of HPPD are not yet known. The most current neurological research indicates that HPPD symptoms may manifest from abnormalities in Central Nervous System function, following hallucinogen use. One theory derived from this research is that the brain inhibitory mechanisms involved with sensory gating, or filtering out excess visual and auditory stimuli, are disrupted therefore allowing more information to be perceived at one time. This results in an overload of the senses.

What HPPD Looks Like

In some cases, HPPD appears to have a sudden onset after a single drug experience, strongly suggesting the drug played a direct role in triggering symptoms. But in other cases, people report gradual worsening of symptoms with ongoing drug use. Drugs that have been associated with HPPD include LSD, MDA, MDMA, psilocybin, mescaline, diphenhydramine, PCP, synthetic cannabis, and high doses of dextromethorphan.

How many people are affected by HPPD?

Some put the number at about 1 in 50,000 hallucinogen users develop HPPD. However, it is possible the prevalence of HPPD has been underestimated by authorities because many people with visual problems relating to drug use either do not seek treatment or, when they do seek treatment, do not admit to having used illicit drugs. Thus, it may be that HPPD occurs more often than is detected by the health care system.

Quick Facts About Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder:

  • People can develop HPPD after only 1 use of a hallucinogenic substance
  • HPPD is most typically caused by the use of LSD
  • About 59% of people with HPPD see geometric patterns on blank surfaces like walls. Almost as many, see false movements of still objects, usually in the peripheral visual fields. Others reports flashes of light, trailing images behind moving objects, and intensified colors
  • Most people with HPPD recover within a month or two after last use, a few take as long as a year

 

Natural Treatments for Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder :

  • Abstinence from using hallucinogens, until the effects from HPPD are gone
  • Valerian Root may help alleviate symptoms. It can be purchased over the counter at most drug stores and health food stores
  • Sun glasses may help alleviate symptoms. Most people with HPPD describe symptom onset or increased intensity of symptoms when they are in bright light and especially when changing from a dark environment to a bright one
  • Meditation, yoga, exercise, breathing techniques and talking about the experience (narrative therapy) with supportive and knowledgeable people may also be helpful

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

www.wikipedia.org

http://www.neurosoup.com

http://www.drugabuse.gov

 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Addiction

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Addiction 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Addiction (DBT) is a comprehensive treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. It combines standard cognitive-behavioral techniques for emotion regulation and reality-testing with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness largely derived from Buddhist meditative practice. Research indicates that DBT is effective in treating patients who present varied symptoms and behaviors associated with mood disorders, including self-injury. Recent work suggests its effectiveness for treating chemical dependency.

When dialectical behavioral therapy for addiction is successful, the patient learns to envision, articulate, pursue, and sustain goals that are independent of his or her history of out-of-control behavior, including substance abuse, and is better able to grapple with life’s ordinary problems. The fundamental principle of DBT is to create a dynamic that promotes two opposed goals for patients: change and acceptance.

The treatment includes five essential functions:

  • improving patient motivation to change
  • enhancing patient capabilities
  • generalizing new behaviors
  • structuring the environment
  • enhancing therapist capability and motivation

History of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

DBT was initially used as the standard behavioral therapy of the 1970s to treat chronically suicidal individuals. Subsequently, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Addiction was adapted for use with individuals with both severe substance use disorder (SUD) and borderline personality disorder (BPD), one of the most common dual diagnoses in cases of addiction. DBT includes explicit strategies for overcoming some of the most difficult problems that complicate treatment of both conditions.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy for Addiction

The ultimate goal in dialectical behavior therapy for addiction is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. When DBT is successful, the patient learns to envision, articulate, pursue, and sustain goals that are independent of his or her history of out-of-control behavior, including substance abuse, and is better able to grapple with life’s ordinary problems.

The all-encompassing embrace of both acceptance and change in dialectical behavior therapy for addiction is consistent with the philosophical approach found in Twelve-Step programs, expressed in the Serenity Prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Like other behavioral approaches, DBT addresses the most detrimental to the least detrimental behaviors in that order. This is used to decrease behaviors that are imminently life-threatening (e.g., suicidal or homicidal); for substance-dependent individuals, substance abuse is considered the most important target within the category of behaviors that interfere with quality of life. Dialectical behavioral therapy for addiction targets include:

  • decreasing abuse of substances (both illicit drugs and legally prescribed drugs taken in a manner not prescribed);
  • alleviating physical discomfort associated with abstinence and/or withdrawal;
  • diminishing urges, cravings, and temptations to abuse;
  • avoiding people, places, and things associated with drug abuse, deleting the telephone numbers of drug contacts, getting a new phone number, and throwing away drug paraphernalia;
  • reducing behaviors that encourage drug abuse;
  • increasing reinforcement of healthy behaviors, such as making new friends, rekindling old friendships, pursuing social/vocational activities, and seeking environments that support abstinence

 

 

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

www.wikipedia.org

Therapy for Families of Drug Addicts

What is the importance of therapy for families of drug addicts?

First, it is the family that often recognizes the problem before their addicted loved one is ready to acknowledge or get help for his or her addiction. Secondly, chances for sustained recovery increase dramatically when families are involved, as addiction reaches far beyond the individual.

There are two basic types of therapy for families of drug addicts: family education and family-involved therapy. Most substance abuse treatment programs perceive the importance of educating families of drug addicts on what addiction is. It is important for the loved ones of the addict to understand that addiction is not merely an issue of willpower; it is a brain disease that affects addicts in such a way that they are unable to stop using drugs despite negative, even devastating consequences, and despite them having the desire to stop.

Educational therapy for families of drug addicts

In educational therapy for families of drug addicts, families identify the ways in which addiction has affected the family relationships and are introduced to resources that can lend support while their addicted loved one undergoes individual treatment. There are support groups such as Al-Anon, Alateen, and Families Anonymous. The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence provide information, assistance, and access to publications regarding drug abuse.

Family therapy for families of drug addicts

Family therapy is therapy for families of drug addicts that involves a collection of therapeutic approaches. The purpose of therapy for families of drug addicts is two-fold: first, it seeks to use the family’s strengths and resources to help find or develop ways to live without substances of abuse. Second, it diminishes the impact of drug dependency on both the addict and his or her family.

In family therapy, the goal of treatment is to meet the needs of all family members. Therapy for families of drug addicts addresses the interdependent nature of family relationships and how these relationships serve the addict and other family members, in both positive and negative ways.

The foundation of therapy for families of drug addicts is the belief in family‐level assessment and intervention. In addressing therapy for families of drug addicts, it is key to recognize that a family is a system, and in any system each part is related to all other parts. Accordingly, a change in any part of the system will bring about changes in all other parts. The focus of therapy for families of drug addicts is to intervene in these complex relational patterns, the family unit and its interrelationships, and to alter them in ways that bring about productive change for the entire family. Therapy for families of drug addicts rests on the systems perspective. As such, changes in one part of the system can and do produce changes in other parts of the system, and these changes can contribute to either problems or solutions.

 

Therapy for families of drug addicts addresses a range of influences on the addict’s drug abuse patterns and is designed to improve overall family functioning. In this way, therapy for families of drug addicts serves as a crucial support to the success of their loved one’s recovery.

Sources:

www.drugabuse.gov

www.nih.gov

www.hhs.gov

 

 

Do I Need Therapy?

Do I Need Therapy?

There was a time where even if you didn’t really need therapy you probably should still get therapy just because of its added benefits. But if you really only want to utilize therapy if you really need it than this blog is for you. It can sometimes be difficult to have enough self-awareness and insight to realize that you need therapy. Usually some event has to happen in order to trigger the awareness that you might need some help or just someone to talk to. Luckily there are ways to know if you are looking for answers if you need therapy.

Here are some signs that you might need therapy:

  • If you’re unable to function as you normally do.
  • If you feel unlike yourself – if you’re sleeping a lot more, or more anxious, or less sociable, or just in a weird mood you can’t shake – then don’t simply resign yourself to a less-satisfying life. You need therapy.
  • If you’re dealing with an issue you’ve never dealt with before and it’s making you anxious and unsure about how to proceed. Every now and then, unprecedented situations might come up that make you feel stuck or uncomfortable. Getting therapy offers the chance to talk about ideas with a neutral party who doesn’t have a stake in the outcome.
  • If you need clarity or reassurance. We so rarely give ourselves time to sit in peace and think through the things we’re experiencing. But if you book a therapy session, you’re committing to an hour of sitting and talking through whatever is on your mind.
  • If you’re falling into old patterns or dealing with old issues that aren’t healthy. We all have negative habits and tendencies, for example smoking or possessiveness in a relationship; that we have to actively work to suppress. But if the battle starts to seem way more uphill, it’s a sign that you can’t handle it on your own and may need therapy.
  • If you’re want to gain greater insight into your behavior. Sometimes we can get stuck and aren’t really sure how to make the changes we want to see in our lives. The right therapist can help show you why you make the choices you make, which should help you to make any changes.
  • If you can’t get past an interpersonal conflict. It’s common for family members to become estranged or even simmer indefinitely over the same old issues. Trying therapy can help bring the two of you closer together, or at least help you figure out how to stop contributing to the problem.
  •  If you have difficulty moving beyond any particular issue in your life. Sometimes we have problem to address and don’t know where to start whether it’s related to your love life, family life, self-image or professional stability.

Most people can benefit from therapy and needing therapy doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with you it just merely means that you want to better your life and your surroundings. There is no reason that you have to settle for anything than the best life for yourself and that’s why if you need therapy you go out and start getting it!

 

Online therapist for alcohol addiction

Online therapist for alcohol addiction

An online therapist for alcohol addiction sounds like a great idea, but is it really? Yes, an online therapist may be convenient and in some instances cheap, but are you really getting the quality of therapy you may need to treat something as serious as an alcohol addiction. It all really depends on how much therapy is needed and the severity of your alcohol addiction. An evaluation of your alcohol addiction will definitely need to be done in order to determine if this very light level of care will work for you. Such an evaluation can be done online, leading to recommendations for the appropriate treatment.

So who can use or benefit from an online therapist for alcohol addiction help?

People who are already involved in any stage (intensive outpatient, continuing care, aftercare) of traditional treatment program or have completed any stage of a traditional treatment program can use online therapy as a way supplement their treatment.

So what is wrong with an online therapist for alcohol addiction?

1. By its nature, online therapy can be interrupted by technological difficulties beyond the control of either the counselor or the client, for instance, a storm or just a random modem problem. Is your mental health really going to rely on an internet connection? Before services are provided, the client will be given suggestions for alternative methods for contacting the online therapist should disruptions in the client’s service occur (for ex., a public library). The online therapist should pledge that should technical difficulties result from his/her personal computer or other internet access the online therapist will have alternative internet access readily available.

2. The visual and auditory cues available during face-to-face online therapy are, of course, not available in internet counseling. Therefore, it is vital that both the client and the online therapist be diligent in seeking clarification of any communications, as needed. And making sure that everything is well understood and talked about.

3. The online therapist for alcohol addictions must at the outset of the online therapeutic relationship help the client to identify local therapists and other treatment providers, including crisis services in the event of an emergency. Most of the time therapists give their phone number to clients or clients can rush to see them should something happen. With an online therapist for alcohol addiction there is no personal connection like that in the event something goes wrong in the client’s life.

4. The online therapist for alcohol addiction must include safeguards to keep client information confidential and protected from unauthorized access. This is always an unknown when using the Internet. Client information, including history, diagnosis, treatment recommendations, and progress notes, should be for the online therapist’s eyes only. No one else must have access to this information. The information should be retained on a safeguarded CD for one year after the online therapy relationship has ended, or for a longer or shorter period of time dictated by the client.

Therapy is very much a relationship between the therapist and client. With an online therapist for alcohol addiction that relationship is not nearly as strong or as helpful for either one. You would never have a romantic relationship entirely based online for years or even months. So why do the same with a therapist? Online therapists for alcohol addiction may be a great last resort for those who just need a little extra advice here and there but for someone who is really depending on therapy this sounds like a terrible idea

History of Therapy: Albert Ellis

History of Therapy: Albert Ellis

Albert Ellis, Ph.D., was born in Pittsburgh, PA on September 27, 1913 and was raised in New York City. He held an M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Columbia University. Albert Ellis held many important psychological positions that included: Chief psychologist of the State of New Jersey and professorships at Rutgers and other universities. More importantly, Albert Ellis was the founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), the first of the now popular Cognitive Behavioral Therapies (CBT).

In 1954, Ellis began teaching his new techniques to other therapists, and by 1957, he formally set forth the first cognitive behavior therapy by proposing that therapists help people adjust their thinking and behavior as the treatment for emotional and behavioral problems. Two years later, Ellis published ‘How to Live with a Neurotic’, which elaborated on his new method.

Albert Ellis established the Albert Ellis Institute in 1959. The Albert Ellis Institute is a non-profit organization whose mission was to promote Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy as a educative and preventative theory. The Albert Ellis Institute promoted Rational Behavioral Therapy’s practice and theory through training professionals and the public. Initially Albert Ellis ran everything from his own private practice as a psychologist. Then Albert Ellis purchased a six story townhouse in Manhattan in 1964. He took that town house that had previously been occupied by The Woodrow Wilson Institute and used it for his work. Albert Ellis donated the earnings of his books to purchase the building and to fund the running costs of the Institute.

Albert Ellis practiced psychotherapy, marriage and family counseling as well as sex therapy for over sixty years at the Psychological Center of the Institute in New York. Albert Ellis also served as president of the Division of Consulting Psychology of the American Psychological Association and of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. He also served as officer of several profession societies including the American Association of Marital and Family Therapy, the American Academy of Psychotherapists, and the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists.

Albert Ellis was ranked one of the most influential psychologists by both American and Canadian psychologists and counselors. He also served as consulting or associate editor of many scientific journals. He published more than eight hundred scientific papers and more than two hundred audio and video cassettes. 

During his final years he collaborated with Michael S. Abrams, Ph.D., on his only college textbook Personality Theories: Critical Perspectives. Albert Ellis also wrote an autobiography entitled “All Out!” published by Prometheus Books in June 2010. The book was dedicated to and contributed by his wife Dr. Debbie Ellis who Ellis described as “The greatest love of my whole life, my whole life”. He also entrusted the legacy of REBT to her. In early 2011, the book Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy by Dr. Albert Ellis and his wife Dr. Debbie Ellis was released by the American Psychological Association. The book explains the essentials of the theory of REBT and is considered an excellent basic guide in understanding the REBT approach for students and practitioners of psychology as well as for the general public.

http://www.goodtherapy.org/famous-psychologists/albert-ellis.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Ellis

 

Airport Therapy Dogs

Airport Therapy Dogs

Airport therapy dogs are exactly what they sound like, dogs meant to provide therapy in airports. These dogs are not sniffing out drugs or there as security; these dogs are just meant to bring a smile to anyone in the airport who wants to be near them.

Airport therapy dogs are becoming more prevalent in U.S. airports where travelers are in need of a friend. Travelers can interact with loving dogs that are looking for a belly rub or even just a hug. The idea behind airport therapy dogs is that you never know why people are flying or what kind of day they have had and traveling can make anyone’s day a little bit more stressful with its long lines, crowds and terrorism concerns; airport therapy dogs are meant to relieve some of that stress.

Airport therapy dogs have to be healthy, skilled, stable and well-mannered. They must also be able to work on a slack 4-foot leash. The airport therapy dogs also have to be comfortable with crowds, sounds, smells and they have to pass through security just like all the other airport workers. The airport therapy dog handlers are taught to watch for people who may be afraid or dislike dogs or those who might have allergies. In most cases the people who like dogs will come up to them. The airport therapy dogs are identifiable by their vests or bandanas that they wear around the airport.

People can come up to the airport therapy dogs and hug them, touch them, talk to them, pet them etc. The whole point is for the dog to make them feel better about whatever it is and if they are already having a good day just to make them smile. The airport therapy dogs are already having a big impact. Anyone who is around them leaves smiling; strangers begin talking to each other etc.

Here are some sweet stories of airport therapy dogs from the New Jersey Herald:

When Claudia McCaskill’s family recently flew home from vacation in Brazil she requested Casey meet the plane to greet her 5-year-old daughter, Carina, who is autistic. She knew Carina would be low on energy and patience and they still had a 2.5-hour drive home to St. Lucie. Casey and handler Liz Miller were there with a gift basket and Carina fell in love with the dog. “Thank you for visiting us at the airport so I would be happy,” Carina said in a video the family made for Casey. Now Carina wants to go back and see Casey again. “I can’t say how much we appreciate what they did for us. It not only helped our daughter, but us too,” McCaskill said.

Before departing from San Jose, a soldier kneeled down and told Henry James: “OK, buddy, you take care of the house while I am gone,” Hubis said.

A woman who said her husband of 40 years told her he wanted a divorce that morning wept on Henry’s shoulder. “He just sat there,” Hubis said. “He knew. He can feel.”

Airport therapy dogs have been a huge success at the few airports where they are working which is mainly within the Los Angeles International Airport; within Miami International Airport; and in San Jose, California’s airport.