I got a MSc in Veterinary Clinical Ethology in 2005 by the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, my Master’s thesis was “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Transportability to Veterinary Clinical Practice”. I got very interested in Animal-Assisted Therapies, especially for the people that I was working with during that time, people with a diagnosis of chronic schizophrenia who were living in long-term residential facilities within the Hospital.
Fundacio La Caixa funded us to do a pilot testing of a brief animal-assisted intervention for these patients, at that time there were no animal-assisted programs in the facilities.
Nowadays, the program is active in the Children’s Hospital.
V. Villalta-Gil, M. Roca, N. Gonzalez, E. Domenec, Cuca, A. Escanilla, M. R. Asensio, M. E. Esteban, S. Ochoa, J. M. Haro, and Grp Schi-Can. Dog Assisted Therapy in the Treatment of Chronic Schizophrenia Inpatients. Anthrozoos 22 (2):149-159, 2009.
V. Villalta-Gil, Susana Ochoa Güerre. La Terapia Facilitada por Animales como programa de rehabilitación adjunto para personas con diagnóstico de Esquizofrenia Crónica. Papeles del psicólogo: revista del Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos, 28 (1):49-56, 2007.
“Application of AAT to psychiatric populations”. Curso Internacional de Terapias Assistidas por Animais . CERCICA. Cascais (PORTUGAL). 2009.
El Pais. Joan Carles Ambrojo: “Animales con Valor terapeutico”. August 11th 2007.
PROJECT TITLE: Application of a pet-assisted therapy for people with chronic schizophrenia. FINANCIAL ENTITY: Fundació La Caixa. LENGTH FROM: 01/01/2007 TO: 31/12/2007. AMOUNT: 20.000 €