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Creature Comfort: Animals That Heal [Kindle Edition]

Bernie Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This inspiring, humorous, and touching book celebrates the beneficial effects that animals have on humans and describes how their healing potential is being increasingly acknowledged by the medical community. Animal Assisted Therapy, an important new development in health care, has already shown that people are statistically less likely to suffer an early heart attack if they have a pet, and that stroking an animal actually reduces stress levels.

This, however, is only the tip of the iceberg, says environmental psychologist Bernie Graham. Animal Assisted Therapy is now achieving amazing results in treating children with physical and mental disabilities by using trained dolphins in acquatic therapy. There are also programs that teach dogs to help the disabled by taking laundry out of the washing machine; selecting, unpacking, and paying for items in the supermarket; and even withdrawing money from the bank. Cats, rabbits, and dogs are now taken into hospitals to comfort the patients, and more exotic animals such as ferrets, donkeys, guinea pigs, monkeys, and even tigers are being used to bring hope to individuals, thereby enhancing human efforts.

Written with warmth and compassion, Creature Comfort looks at all aspects of Animal Assisted Therapy, including the theories behind it, to provide both a practical guide and a moving account of the many rewarding human-animal interactions. A must for pet lovers, health care workers, and anyone who wishes to benefit from this most holistic of therapies.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

YA-Not just another amazing animal book, this is a timely and valuable introduction to Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT), a scientific and medical discipline still in its infancy-and one that should be particularly appealing to many teens as a possible career direction. Graham tells plenty of fascinating stories (illustrated with black-and-white photos) as he relates his own experiences and those of others working with diverse creatures such as dolphins, cats, dogs, donkeys, monkeys, ferrets, guinea pigs, rabbits, fish, and horses. Those benefiting from AAT include mentally or physically disabled children and adults in private programs or in institutional settings such as hospitals, clinics, and prisons, in the U.S., Great Britain, and Europe. The author gives an overview of the wide range of AAT projects that have evolved in recent years, mostly through volunteer efforts and in the face of traditional obstacles to the presence of animals in institutional and medical settings. Though the writing style is somewhat academic, occasionally inelegant, and riddled with Briticisms, the book is nevertheless friendly and readable, and succeeds very well in communicating the author's great enthusiasm for his subject. He concludes with a useful listing of organizations for readers to contact if they feel motivated to pursue further study or volunteer work.
Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"...celebrates special animals and the ways they make human lives better through animal-assisted therapy ... full of insight and compassion" -- Cats, November, 2000

"...focuses on different animals and the therapeutic benefits of their interaction with people with mental and physical disabilities" -- Advance for LPNs

"A must for pet lovers, health care workers and anyone who wishes to benefit from this most holistic of therapies." -- The Latham Letter, Fall, 2002

"Any pet owner will happily bore you about the relaxing benefits of having an animal about the place. This absorbing book, though, takes a serious look at the value to the disabled and mentally ill of interaction with animals. . . . Graham produces a balanced thesis and a successful mix of scholarship and anecdotal evidence." -- Daily Mail, July 9, 1999

"In this eye-opening and engrossing book, [Graham] shows that animals and humans have a great deal to offer each other and that this kind of holistic therapy should not be ignored or underestimated. What is more, Creature Comforts is a thoroughly enjoyable read, not just for those with a disability - for all of us. I defy anyone to read it and not be moved by his stories." -- Disability Now, July, 1999

"There is something spookily 'Far Side' about the images of human-animal relations conjured up in Creature Comfort. This funny and touching investigation of animal therapy steers well clear of sensationalism, and there is not a tinge of the kind of New Age guff you might expect from an author who makes a habit of swimming with dolphins. Yet at the same time this realistic, personal book is quite extraordinary, a study of how dolphins, horses, rabbits, dogs, cats and even goldfish can have a healing effect on the vulnerable, handicapped or mentally ill which has yet to be explained by conventional medicine." -- Books Magazine (UK)

Product Details

  • File Size: 5253 KB
  • Print Length: 313 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; 1 edition (May 4, 1999)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003ZHU92Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,406,951 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This book provided me with the perfect introduction to a fascinating subject. Bernie Graham writes in a chatty, accessible style, while at the same time getting across to the reader a great deal of well-sourced information.
The book uses plenty of real-life examples to illustrate how animals can help human beings cope with illness. As I work in the Mental-Health field I was particularly struck by the opening example of a young dog's part in improvement of the health of a man suffering from depression. It rang some very familiar bells, and it was good to have some of the scientific background explained concisely and in a refreshingly jargon-free manner.
Mr Graham has a clear empathy for both patients and animals, as well as a considered and reasonable approach. This is not a book that says 'get a cat and you'll be cured', but one which studies the part animals can play alongside more conventional treatments. For me, this means that the book takes you on a journey rather than tries to win you over, and is all the more convincing for it.
In places it reminded me of some of Oliver Sacks' books with all its keen observations and attention to detail, combined with its very human, life-affirming qualities. There's some good jokes, too.
The book didn't leave me feeling like an expert, but then it didn't try to. Rather it gave me a taste of the whole intruiging topic, and left me wanting to know and learn more. It was helpful, then, to find plenty of further resources and contacts listed at the end of the book.
In all, the perfect introduction to Animal Assisted Therapy, and ideal for anyone interested in animals and our relationships with them.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well received February 8, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was worried because I sent these books to Korea; today I've got a call that they safely reached my Seoul Home. thanks, AMAZON1
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