Animal Assisted Interventions for Trauma and PTSD

The Role that Animals Play in Treating Domestic Violence Trauma and PTSD When times got tough, my friends and I used to joke that all we really wanted was to switch lives with a well-kept house pet. I must admit, it still sometimes seems like a good gig. I thought there could be nothing better. Then, in 2009 I adopted my first dog. After a few months of bonding, I came to see that the only thing better than being a well-kept pet might be owning one. My dogs, I adopted a second in 2013, have come to be the greatest companions in my life. They are a source of endless snuggles, kisses, fun, and unconditional love. As great as these things are to me, I can only imagine how great they must feel to … Read More

The War At Home

How PTSD Leads to Intimate Partner Violence in the Military With the Texas Massacre showing us that even the military is not immune from domestic violence, I decided to take a closer look at the issue. What I found was both shocking and sad. It turns out that military veterans are responsible for a staggering 21% of all domestic violence nationwide. In fact, levels of intimate partner violence (IPV) in post 9/11 veteran’s communities have begun to explode. Between 2006-2011 there was a “skyrocketing” of military members charged with domestic violence at Fort Carson near Colorado Springs. During roughly the same period, PTSD rates also surged at the fort as more and more soldiers began returning home from lengthy, repeat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq (SF Gate). Why This Issue Isn’t Being Dealt With Unfortunately, … Read More

Treating Trauma in Victims of Intimate Partner Violence: A Unique Challenge

Why Effective Trauma Treatment for Intimate Partner Violence Victims is Particularly Difficult Research shows that even though there are several different treatment modalities being used today, making a full recovery from trauma can be a difficult and lengthy process. However, therapeutic and medication based interventions have proven effective with a lot of hard work and time. Sounds promising; right? Not necessarily for domestic violence victims. Most of the research currently being done on trauma treatment is focused on combat victims and military personnel. Their experience when it comes to effective treatment of trauma is often vastly different than that of a domestic violence victim. This is particularly true for victims of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). There is ample evidence to show that IPV victims face with an especially unique set of challenges when it comes … Read More

Domestic Violence and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

An Introduction to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Domestic Violence Victims: Its Symptoms, Causes, and Risk-Factors So just what is PTSD? Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a trauma and stress-related mental health disorder that occurs after a person witnesses or experiences a terrifying event. It is most common after a traumatic event in which death or severe physical or sexual harm occurred or was threatened. Even though current research on PTSD tends to focus on military combat, there is strong evidence to suggest that experiencing domestic violence of any kind can lead to the development of the disorder. “Individuals who have been physically or psychologically abused have experienced a traumatic event” (Trauma Abuse Treatment). This trauma is often just as severe as military combat. It is therefore not uncommon for domestic abuse victims to be so … Read More

Intimate Partner Violence and Trauma

The Complex Relationship Between Intimate Partner Violence and Trauma There is no denying the fact that there is an inextricable bond that exists between intimate partner violence (IPV) and the experience of trauma. It does not take a doctor to figure out that those who have experienced IPV will most likely develop some mental health consequences from their abuse. An earlier Pets Empowered blog post looked at the mental health effects that are most likely to occur. Some people, however, are so scarred by their abuse that they do not just experience one of two of these mental health problems. Rather these individuals become so affected, that they become “traumatized” by their experience. Just What is Trauma Anyway? Trauma is a set of symptoms that develop after experiencing or even witnessing an event so distressing … Read More