At Canaan Valley Farm, we offer a variety of holistic options, including Animal Interaction Experience. Spending time with horses, cows, goats, chicken, emu, and many others has been used for centuries to treat a variety of medical conditions, including physical disabilities, cognitive issues, and recently, addiction. Our Animal Interaction Experience program enables residents to identify treatment issues, bond as a group, and experience the power of a relationship built on open communication — all through activities with animals.
Most animals are social and can sense people’s emotions. In a safe, supervised environment, our therapists teach clients to establish trust and to interact with these animals using verbal and non-verbal cues
With the help of our animal friends, clients recovering from substance use disorder build relationships, develop rapport, communicate trust, and learn healthy boundaries. You’ll also gain insights into feelings, behaviors, patterns, boundaries, and stumbling blocks to recovery.
Other benefits of Animal Interaction Experience for addiction treatment include:
Better mood. Working with animals, including horses, has been found to provide stress relief and increased happiness for people in recovery.
More mindfulness. Being “present” is a skill that is often neglected when using drugs or alcohol to become numb or escape the present moment. Animal Interaction Experience teaches clients to remain present in the moment and to be aware of changes in the animal’s body language, the environment, and yourself.
Greater work ethic and responsibility. Taking care of animals teaches clients the value of hard work and how to take responsibility for your actions.