You Have A Visitor: Observations on Pet Visitation and Therapy

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9780967253206: You Have A Visitor: Observations on Pet Visitation and Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) has become an accepted form of augmenting the healing processes that occur within the walls of healthcare facilities. The same joy and comfort animals provide at home can also benefit the eager patient or resident who awaits a visit from a volunteer and their pet.

Photographer Renee Lamm Esordi accompanied volunteers and their pets on visits to hospitals, nursing homes, a school for special needs children, a psychiatric program, and a youth camp for troubled teens. Candid interviews with health practitioners, staff, and volunteers describe the challenges and rewards of AAT in their own words. She witnessed and recorded the joyous responses of patients and residents who look forward to the companionship and conversation the visits provide. She also accompanied a volunteer on another type of visit: delivering pet food and supplies on behalf of an organization whose mission is to keep those living with HIV and AIDS from having to choose between taking care of themselves or taking care of their pet.

Her documentation of these interactions illustrate the pleasure people can derive from the simple presence of animals. These photographs tell a story not only of alternative methods of healing but also of compassion, unconditional love, and comfort that these visitors can bring.

CNN.com says Esordi "captured the beauty of this unique animal-human interaction", and Animal Fair magazine assures "one need only look at these snapshots to realize that a picture taken by Esordi is worth a thousand studies...her contribution to furthering public awareness is a valuable one."

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From the Author:

I wanted to witness firsthand the change in a person that can occur within seconds when an animal enters the room. I also wanted to capture those feelings of joy and relief that people experience when interacting with animals. I felt so grateful through the entire process as volunteer organizations trusted me to capture and communicate this personal endeavor. I hope that as a window into the process and experiences of AAT, this book contributes to an increased awareness about this service.

About the Author:

Originally from North Carolina, Renee Lamm Esordi is a graphic designer and photographer. She received a degree in graphic design from North Carolina State University's School of Design.

In 1999, she decided to further explore her interest in photography and published a documentary which had always been a goal. Renee has always loved exploring the curious world of animals and nature and capturing different cultures and life in the community through which documentary photography is an important vehicle. Her photographs and design work have appeared in several publications and galleries.

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Esordi, Renee Lamm; Beck, Alan M.
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