All Kinds of News for January 11, 2017
Elevations RTC, a leading residential treatment center for teens ages 13-18, provides students with a very active on-campus canine program. With the approval of executive staff, Elevations RTC employees are allowed to bring their pet dogs to campus. Students are given the opportunity to interact with these animals on a regular basis.
“Most students love to interact with the dogs. It can really brighten their day,” says Jordan Killpack, MA, NCC, LCMHC, Clinical Director of Elevations RTC. “These interactions provide opportunities for students to form connections and display affection in appropriate ways. It can be used as a positive learning tool for many students.”
Regular interaction with pets, particularly dogs, has been shown to produce positive effects for humans and dogs. The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship that positively influences the health and well-being of both. Many intuitively understand the benefits of positive interactions with animals in our lives. An emerging body of research recognizes the impact a human-animal bond can have on students' overall health.
“According to recent research, the presence of an animal can significantly increase positive, pro-social behavior,” comments Killpack. “It can also lower blood pressure and other negative responses to psychological stress. A study recently published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine showed decreased blood pressure, lower heart rate, reduced muscle tension and overall reduced stress in response to regular contact with a friendly and familiar dog.”
Additionally, this study demonstrated changes in blood chemistry. It indicated significantly reduced amounts of stress-related hormones such as cortisol. The study noted that the positive psychological effects of contact with animals often had a much more rapid effect than medications commonly used to reduce stress and anxiety.
With the introduction of visiting dogs on campus, students are provided with the same benefits discussed in this recent study. The canine program at Elevations RTC is one of many creative and exciting programming additions on campus in recent years.
About Elevations RTCElevations RTC is a unique residential treatment center that works with both young men and women ages 13 - 18. Elevations offers guidance, support and relief to young men and women struggling with issues like trauma, depression, mood disorders, behavioral problems, identity/body image, and substance abuse. Elevations RTC is located in Utah and provides specialized, clinically intensive programs for troubled teens.