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Sadly, many of our service men and women come back from foreign wars with not only physical problems, but also mental health disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). War is not a pretty business; soldiers see, hear and experience traumatic things that can be extremely hard to forget. People who suffer from PTSD often require intensive treatments so that the illness does not get out of hand, such as self-medicating with drugs or alcohol and/or attempting suicide.

Veterans of foreign wars who do not receive the therapy they require, often turn to mind altering substances to ease the pain of what they experienced, a trend that has lead to a rise in addiction. Whenever co-occurring disorders, such as PTSD, accompany addiction, treatment becomes significantly more complicated; successful recovery rests on treating both illnesses concurrently.

Unfortunately, a number of people with PTSD do not respond to traditional therapeutic techniques; when that happens sometimes therapists need to think outside the box to help treat the problem. In Frazier Park, CA the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center (LARC) introduces veterans with PTSD to wolf therapy, The San Francisco Globe reports. A number of veterans who have worked with the wolves have been able to overcome the illness.

Working with the wolves has helped several veterans overcome their PTSD. When veterans with PTSD seek help from LARC, they are paired with their own personal therapy wolf, according to the article. Interestingly, the wolves themselves have experienced some kind of trauma; the pair is able to work together to feel calm and safe, overcoming their issues as a team.

“They kind of teach you how to be calm and confident,” said veteran Jim Minick “It’s got some deeper meaning when they accept you … into part of the pack.” 

Please watch a short video on the therapy:

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