Bullying and Animal Assisted Therapy (Pet Therapy)

Bullying is one of the forms of violence most used by children and young people today. This form of mistreatment consists of exerting psychological, verbal and physical violence on other people. However, animal-assisted therapy is a possible solution. Read on!

Origins of bullying

The practice of bullying has always existed, even though it was not given a name and was not distinguished from other forms of violence . However, nowadays it has increased significantly .

One of the ways of bullying that has arisen with technological and digital advances is cyberbullying, which uses technology to facilitate psychological violence. Thanks to the internet and electronic devices, it is possible to disseminate information massively, remain anonymous and find the support of other bullies.

Bullying is mainly practiced in schools , classrooms and courtyards of the plexus. Even on social networks, however, most cyberbullies are children or adolescents. Ideally, parents monitor their children’s interactions on the web.

A method of aggression

This form of violence is based on the constant intimidation of the individual . This creates a bully-victim power relationship. In this way, the aggressor gains strength and control, albeit symbolic.

Bullying causes the following symptoms in the victim:

  • Terror: The victim is too scared and does not want to share the same space with his attacker. For example, if the attacker attends the same school, the victim will avoid going there in every way, even pretending to be ill.
  • The victim is often nervous. She constantly thinks that she will be chased, beaten, that they will make fun of her, even if they are not.
  • It is common for bullied victims to suffer from depression and want to be alone. The social aggression they suffer from lack of acceptance is overwhelming.

The importance of addressing the problem as soon as possible

It is important to identify the symptoms of bullying early . This problem can lead the individual to the limit of vexation by collapsing his sensitivity. He may even go so far as to commit attempts on his own life, because he thinks it is not worth it or is meaningless.

Animal Assisted Therapy

There are several projects promoting animal assisted therapy, particularly with dogs, to facilitate the fight against bullying . It is possible to attend workshops of varying lengths that will help children and young people who are bullied. It is about identifying and controlling their emotions by looking for a possible way out of their problems.

One of the tasks imposed by pet therapy on children is to obtain the necessary coordination to teach the dog to solve certain situations. During these exercises, the child is obliged to socialize with the group to devise a strategy and achieve the goal.

In animal-assisted therapy, play is a crucial factor. With it, children and young people are encouraged to participate, because they love animals or simply for the sake of fun.

In addition to having the purpose of treating bullying, these therapies also help prevent it, as dogs help develop the child’s instinct to socialize. The child is better able to adapt to the surrounding environment and learns to resolve conflicts that may arise .

Animal assisted therapy generates an important cognitive and affective effect  for the development of the individual in society. It cleanses him of negative thoughts and helps him to regain confidence in himself and in those around him.

Benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy

  • Helps to relax the mind and body.
  • It favors the ability of self-control and control of the surrounding environment.
  • Avoid aggressive behaviors.
  • Helps to regain trust.
  • It allows for the establishment of social bonds.
  • It improves communication and the development of affectivity.
  • Improve self-esteem.

The child or adolescent often has a hard time getting out of bullying due to poor life experiences. For this reason, it is important to watch over our children , be they teenagers or children. We will thus be able to prevent and attack violence in time, avoiding harmful consequences, such as depression, mistreatment and even suicide.

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