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					 VETERANS WITH PTSD AND
    SERVICE DOGS: THE
THERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIP
  Cynthia Sontag, MSWAC, LISW
      Auzadeh Bartholf, MS
         Stephanie Barger
      Presentation Mission
To create awareness regarding the use of
service dogs with war-time related PTSD
as we create a shared understanding of
how and what a service dog does for a
veteran with PTSD
  Different types of jobs dogs are
         trained to perform.
• Assistance (require extensive training)
 Therapy (informal training, but must meet
  certain criteria of behaviors)
 Military or law enforcement (extensive
  training for specific jobs)
   Types of jobs dogs perform
 Companion Pets for emotional support (Do
  not need special training)
 Service (require extensive training)
• Pets for emotional support (Do not need
  special training)
.
         Dogs and their jobs
• They are not trained to perform “tricks”
• This is their work or purpose.
• Working dogs, like humans need down
  time.
 How do we define Post Traumatic
    Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
A person experienced, or witnessed, or was
  confronted with an event or events that
  involved actual or threatened death or
  serious injury, or a threat to the physical
  integrity of self or others. The person’s
  response involved intense fear,
  helplessness, or horror.
 Signs and Symptoms of PTSD
 Feeling upset by things that remind you of
  what happened (re-experiencing)
 Having nightmares, vivid memories, or
  flashbacks of the event that make you feel
  like it’s happening all over again.
  (flashbacks)
 Feeling emotionally cut off from others or
  wanting to be cut off. (isolation)
    Signs and Symptoms cont.
 Feeling numb or losing interest in things
  you used to care about (disengagement)
 Becoming depressed
 Thinking that you are always in danger
  (hyper-alert)
 Feeling anxious, jittery, or irritated a lot
  (hyper-arousal)
   Signs and Symptoms cont.
 Experiencing a sense of panic that
  something bad is about to happen and
  staying away from events that might
  trigger an anxiety or panic attack
  (avoidance)
 Having difficulty with sleep
   Signs and Symptoms cont.
 Having trouble keeping your mind on one
  thing (poor concentration)

 Having a hard time relating to and getting
  along with your spouse, family, or friends
   Americans with Disabilities Act
              (ADA)
• 1990 ADA went into effect to protect the rights of
  the disabled
• Dogs had to be trained to do task to qualify as
  service dogs
• 2010 PTSD was added to the list of disabilities
  to qualify as a service dog
• 2011 only dogs are recognized as service
  animals under Title II and Title III and entities
  must permit service animals to accompany
  people with disabilities anywhere the public is
  allowed
Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
• 2012 The VA will only pay service dog
  benefits to service connected veterans
  with vision, hearing, or mobility related
  injuries
• Therapies have to be evidenced based to
  be approved
• There are 3 long term research project
  underway at this time to determine efficacy
  of service dogs for people with PTSD
    Therapeutic Enhancement
• Attachment and relationship building
• Emotional regulation
• Sensory integration
• Ability to be responsible and enjoy a sense
  of purpose
• Lowered stress level
• Prevention of PTSD symptoms

				
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posted:6/21/2014
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