Market Deeping, Peterborough, UK
Mob: 07761 065 726 Email: [email protected]
Therapeutic Animal Intervention
We have recently welcomed a labrador puppy called Oliver to our family and after a short hello to visitors, he then sleeps through all therapy sessions. It is only on rare occasion he becomes playful for a few minutes during any session but any significant disruption would be compensated.
The plan is to train Oliver to work in therapy sessions as a therapy aid.
How can a dog be helpful in therapy?
Having a dog in the therapy session is not something people usually consider when thinking about having therapy and it is not a given that once trained Ollie would not be present in your sessions.
If he is, then there are many benefits of animal assisted therapeutic interventions which is why dogs are often used therapeutically in hospitals, schools, prisons and care homes. In psychotherapy it is a little different but initially interaction with the right dog can help improve physical and mental well-being, reduce stress, improve mood and reduce anxiety all going towards the improvement in mental wellbeing as they do when working by visiting establishments.
A dog present in the therapy room can assist people with emotional issues ike depression, anxiety, irritability and behavioural issues such as boundaries and it can help those who find it hard to express themselves.
A dog present can soothe fear, isolation, lonliness or illness and they can be grounding for those who are seeking to find themselves and also helpful to those finding it hard to express themselves.
Dogs live in the here and now and doesn't mind what you look like, and accepts you just the way you are. Dogs reflect your feelings which can add to your own self understanding and will generallly aim to soothe a persons feelings. Some of the touching that is involved with dogs is calming and rewarding.
Dogs are good at self soothing and will display how to take themselves away from situations we are not comfortable in, just like we would benefit from doing and they have their own boundaries which they will show you. as we should show others our boundaries.
Dogs will also want to play with you and be fussed as they try to fuss you back and this which adds to a person's self worth and sense of belonging and it can help bring people into a mindfulness state as we slow down, notice our surroundings and self-reflect.
Most importantly dogs give what therapists call unconditional positive regard which means they will treat you with acceptance no matter what is going on for you or what you say and in addition they will be congruent which means they wont be faking it either.
All of the above can aid social interaction and development of relationships, highlight compassion and nurturing tendancies for a person .
Outdoor Activity with Ollie
As Ollie grows up, there will be opportunitites to take Ollie out for walks or play activities where a person can experience being in the here and now with him. Going outside could restore calm, motivate, and uplift people and getting fresh air and light exercise outdoors in a natural environment is always beneficial to us.