Project Title

Service Dogs and the Impact on PTSD

Major

Therapeutic Recreation

Department

Recreation and Park Administration

Degree

Undergraduate

Mentor

Michelle Davis Gerken

Mentor Department

Recreation and Park Administration

Abstract

Many individuals seek comfort in dogs, but not many realize the benefits that can be received from a “man’s best friend”. Dogs can be comforting, but can also be trained to acquire the special skills needed to help others. Service dogs can benefit a wide range of physical and mental disabilities. These trained dogs have been shown to provide a sense of comfort and safety when needed most. One specific disability that service dogs assist with is post traumatic stress disorder, commonly known as PTSD. PTSD can affect many people, such as individuals who have serviced in war or have been apart of a life threatening event. Many of us have encountered a traumatic event in our lives, but not all of us are effected by these “invisible wounds”. Sadly, PTSD can not be cured, but the symptoms can be managed by either medication or therapy, such as service dogs. The researchers will conduct a qualitative study to show the impact that service dogs have on the lives of individuals suffering with PTSD. The researchers will demonstrate how service dogs can help an individual mentally, emotionally and socially.

Presentation format

Poster

Poster Number

087

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Service Dogs and the Impact on PTSD

Many individuals seek comfort in dogs, but not many realize the benefits that can be received from a “man’s best friend”. Dogs can be comforting, but can also be trained to acquire the special skills needed to help others. Service dogs can benefit a wide range of physical and mental disabilities. These trained dogs have been shown to provide a sense of comfort and safety when needed most. One specific disability that service dogs assist with is post traumatic stress disorder, commonly known as PTSD. PTSD can affect many people, such as individuals who have serviced in war or have been apart of a life threatening event. Many of us have encountered a traumatic event in our lives, but not all of us are effected by these “invisible wounds”. Sadly, PTSD can not be cured, but the symptoms can be managed by either medication or therapy, such as service dogs. The researchers will conduct a qualitative study to show the impact that service dogs have on the lives of individuals suffering with PTSD. The researchers will demonstrate how service dogs can help an individual mentally, emotionally and socially.