Sunday December 16, 2018

Feeling homesick? Go for Animal-assisted Therapy to lead a satisfactory Life!

The participants who took eight weeks of dog therapy experienced significant reductions in homesickness and a greater increase in satisfaction with life

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Dog Therapy. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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  • According to a research, Animal-assisted therapy may help first-year college students overcome homesickness and may help lower drop-out rates
  • The therapy includes 45-minute weekly sessions involving small group interactions with dogs and their handlers, and engagement with fellow students from the study
  • In a 2009 report conducted for B.C. Stats, 29 percent students who wanted to drop out, decided to stay

Toronto, Sept 09, 2016: Animal-assisted therapy can help first-year university students combat homesickness and could also be a useful tool in lowering drop-out rates, finds an interesting research.

Homesick students are three times more likely than those who manage their homesickness to disengage and drop out of university, the researchers said.

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“Transitioning from high school to university can prove to be a challenge for many first-year students,” said John Tyler Binfet, Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Okanagan, Canada.

In the study, the participants who completed eight weeks of dog therapy experienced significant reductions in homesickness and a greater increase in satisfaction with life.

Participants reported that sessions “felt like they were at home chatting with friends who brought their puppies.”

But the non-treatment group reported an increase in their feelings of homesickness, the study said.

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Dog therapy included 45-minute weekly sessions involving small group interactions with dogs and handlers, and engagement with other first-year students participating in the study.

For the study, published in the journal Anthrozoos, 44 first year university students who self-identified as homesick were given a survey to measure levels of homesickness, satisfaction with life and connectedness with the campus.

Half of the students completed eight weeks of dog therapy, while the other half were informed that their sessions would begin in eight weeks’ time.

A total of 29 per cent of students who dropped out cited more interactions and friendships with other students as a factor that would have influenced their decision to stay longer, according to a 2009 report conducted for B.C. Stats — the statistics agency for British Columbia in Canada.

“Moving to a new city, I did not know anyone at the university and became very homesick and depressed. I was mainly secluded in my dorm room and did not feel like I belonged here. Coming to animal assisted therapy sessions every Friday gave me a sense of purpose and kept me enthusiastic about life,” stated Varenka Kim, a student at UBC Okanagan. (IANS)

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  • Manthra koliyer

    Dog therapies can be one the best ways to solve all the problems people face.

  • Jagpreet Kaur Sandhu

    Wow! Sounds interesting, as they say dogs can be our best friends.

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U.S.- Canada Show a United Front During Huawei Tech Executive’s Trial

Canada’s Foreign Ministry said Canadian officials were granted consular access Friday to one of the detainees and they are still trying to contact the second.

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Canada
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland takes part in a news conference at the Embassy of Canada in Washington. VOA

The United States and Canada promised a fair judicial process for a Chinese tech executive who was arrested earlier this month in Canada.

In talks at the State Department on Friday, the U.S. and Canadian foreign and defense ministers put on a united front, following a growing diplomatic dispute between the United States and China, in which Canada finds itself in the middle.

Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland defended her country’s detention of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, saying it was “not a political decision,” but “a matter of following the rules.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States was also “respecting the rule of law each step along the way” as it seeks Meng.

Canada arrested Meng at the request of the United States, which says Huawei violated U.S. sanctions on Iran. She has been released on bail and is awaiting possible extradition to the United States.

Huawei, China, Canada
A man lights a cigarette outside a Huawei retail shop in Beijing. VOA

Disagreement with Trump

Freeland implicitly pushed back against recent comments by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has said the case could be used as part of wider trade negotiations with Beijing.

“It is also very important for Canada that extradition agreements are not to be used for political purposes,” she said. “Canada does not do it that way and I believe it is obvious that democratic countries, such as our partners in the United States, do the same.”

Freeland also said she was extremely concerned about the fate of two Canadians — businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig — who were detained in China this week, in what is widely seen as a case of retaliation against Canada’s detention of Meng.

Huawei, China, Trump, Canada
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.’s chief financial officer, is seen in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters. VOA

“For me and the prime minister, there are no issues that touch us more personally and immediately than the detention of Canadians outside our country,” Freeland said, adding, “This is a huge priority for our government.”

Canadians ‘ought to be returned’

Secretary of State Pompeo called China’s detention of the Canadian citizens “unacceptable” and said that they “ought to be returned.”

China’s foreign ministry says the Canadian citizens are each being investigated on suspicion of violating China’s national security laws. Analysts and rights groups have called those laws powerful and vague.

In a statement Saturday, the International Crisis Group called for the immediate release of Kovrig, who is their senior expert for North East Asia, based in Hong Kong. The group said Kovrig had always worked transparently and constructively with Chinese authorities.

Mike Pompeo, USA, Canada
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters, Dec. 12, 2018, at United Nations headquarters. VOA

“The real danger to China comes from Michael’s arbitrary arrest and detention, for these will have a chilling effect on people wanting to visit and engage with the country,” said Crisis Group president and CEO Robert Malley.

The statement also noted that since Kovrig had been a Canadian diplomat in China between 2014 and 2016, “diplomatic missions around the globe should be concerned by the suggestion that normal diplomatic work could be grounds for future detention.

Also Read: As Huawei CFO Gets Released On a Bail, Trump Suggests a Trade Deal With China

Canada’s Foreign Ministry said Canadian officials were granted consular access Friday to one of the detainees and they are still trying to contact the second. The Crisis Group confirmed that the Canadian ambassador in Beijing has been able to visit Kovrig. (VOA)