Vol. 7 No. 3 (2021)

Post-traumatic stress disorder sensorimotor intervention protocol with the dog

Daniele Benedetti
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale di Lazio e Toscana

Published 2022-05-26


  • trauma ,
  • PTSD,
  • sensorimotor,
  • animal assisted therapy,
  • children


Animal assisted interventions are part of complementary and alternative interventions intended as a diversified set of treatments and practices applied to both physical and mental health.

The aim of the study was to investigate emotional dysregulation and alexithymia in the reference population with the inclusion of the animal in the sensorimotor psychoeducational protocol and the modality of interference of traumatic symptoms on dysregulation.

This article describes the results from a randomized pilot study with a control and single-center experimental group to evaluate the effectiveness of a 6-meeting psychoeducational senso disrimotor protocol with insertion of the dog as an additional variable in Odgen and Fischer's sensorimotor therapy protocol.

The study involved 13 patients diagnosed with PTSD aged 10-16 years and who had completed the pre-test and post-test phase with administration of the Toronto Alexithimia Scale – 20 (TAS-20) and Trauma Symptom check list for children, TSCC –A.

The study made it possible to derive interesting qualitative clinical considerations, in fact, the participants who completed the program showed an improvement in relational and compliance with the therapists, a greater verbal expression and a greater behavioral and physiological stabilization. The study lays the foundations for future studies on the subject.