Animal Assisted Therapy
Lucy is a rescue border collie/lab mix who is a special helper in therapy sessions. She loves her “job” and can be a great comfort in the room. Lucy helps in these specific ways:
Lucy helps teach emotional regulation skills because she is only allowed to be pet when kids are calm and grounded. Kids can become more motivated to use skills taught when there is a darling pup waiting to be pet.
Lucy is usually very mellow in sessions which can be a great asset when kids, teens, and parents are experiencing tough emotions. Seeing her peaceful state can bring up feelings up safety and security. She is a great example of how mirror neurons in our brain can work to our benefit.
Lucy helps teach boundaries. Clients are educated on rules to follow when interacting with Lucy and each session can practice following them.
We take Lucy for walks! Walking is a great way to have therapeutic conversations. Without direct eye contact and with the sensory input and bilateral stimulation of the brain, clients usually can stay more regulated and engaged in the conversation. Walking with Lucy makes the experience more fun and gives us a purpose to get out and get moving.
Clients gain a sense of competence walking her and helping to teach her skills. Lucy is still in training and clients get to have the experience of contributing to her growth and development as a therapy dog. This contributes to a client’s self-esteem and confidence.
**If you have a severe dog allergy, then my office probably wouldn’t be a comfortable place for you. However, if you have an allergy triggered mainly from touching a dog, then please let me know and I can make sure you have plenty of space away from Lucy.
***If your child/teen is afraid of dogs, please give me a call so we can talk further.