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How Pets Benefit Mental Health.

The Psych Talk

A recent systematic review conducted by researchers from the universities of Liverpool, Manchester and Southampton looked at 17 international research papers to examine the role pets had on owners with a mental health condition. They found that pets can provide benefits to those with mental health issues.

These are the various ways in which pets can significantly improve the lives of those living with mental illness:

Reduce Anxiety:

Snuggling and stroking your pets has been found to dramatically reduce stress and anxiety. Connecting with your pets releases the hormone oxytocin (related to trust, love and attachment) which helps reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels.

A clinical trial in which hypertensive stockbrokers were randomly assigned to either pet or no-pet conditions found that when put in a stressful situation, subjects in the pet group showed lower increases in blood pressure than did those in the non-pet control condition (Allen, Shykoff, & Izzo…

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Benefits of Music Therapy on Mental Health.

The Psych Talk

Music therapy has been found to improve mental and emotional health. Symptoms of depression and anxiety are often decreased with the use of music. Music therapy can also help lift the mood and improve the quality of life of those with physical health issues.

Music therapy has been defined as ‘an interpersonal process in which the therapist uses music and all of its facets to help patients to improve, restore or maintain health’ (Bruscia1991). Music therapy can be broadly categorised as either ’Active’, in which people re-create, improvise or compose music, or ’Receptive’, in which they listen to music (Bruscia 1998).

Autism:

One study found that active music therapy sessions could be of aid in improving autistic symptoms, as well as personal musical skills in young adults with severe autism. (Boso, Emanuele, Minazzi, Abbamonte, & Politi, 2007). Specifically, it may help improve communication skills in children with an autistic spectrum…

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