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Intro Tp Psych Essay

  • Submitted by:
  • on May 5, 2012
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 18,291 words

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Below is an essay on "Intro Tp Psych" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

CHAPTER

13

Treating Psychological
Disorders
Therapy on Four Legs
Lucien Masson, a 60-year-oldVietnam veteran from Arizona, put it simply: “Sascha is the best medicine I’ve
ever had.”
Lucien is speaking about his friend, companion, and perhaps even his therapist, a Russian wolfhound
named Sascha. Lucien suffers from posttraumaticstress disorder(PTSD),a disorderthat has had a profoundly
negative impact on his life for many years. His symptoms include panic attacks, nightmares,and road rage.
Lucien has tried many solutions, consulting with doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists, and using a
combination of drugs, group therapy, and anger-management classes.
But Sascha seems to be the best therapistof all. He helps out in many ways. If a strangergets too close to
Lucien in public, Sascha will block the strangerwith his body. Sascha is trainedto sense when Lucien is about
to have a nightmare, waking him before it starts. Before road rage can set in, Sascha gently whimpers,
reminding his owner that it doesn’t pay to get upset about nutty drivers.
In the same way, formerArmy medic Jo Hanna Schafferspeaksof her Chihuahua,Cody: “I never took a pill
for PTSD that did as much for me as Cody has done.”PersianGulf War veteranKaren Alexanderfeels the same
way about her Bernese mountain dog, Cindy:
She’llcome up and touch me, and that is enough of a stimulusto break the loop, bring me
back to reality.SometimesI’llscratchmy hand untilit’sraw and won’trealizeuntilshe comes
up to me and brings me out. She’s such a grounding influence for me.
Can psychiatric therapy dogs help people who suffer from PTSD?

© Thinkstock

400

INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY

These dramatic stories of improvement from debilitating disorders can be attributed to an alternative
psychologicaltherapy,based on establishedbehavioralprinciples,providedby “psychiatricservice dogs.”The
dogs are trained to help people with a variety of mental disorders,including panic attacks,...

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