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Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal Assisted Therapy | Healing with Animals

The healing effects of the human-animal bond far surpass most talk and experiential therapies. It has been found that the presence of a dog or cat in the short-term lowers blood pressure and relaxes muscles. Long-term, depression and anxiety are significantly reduced. Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) not only offers the comfort that an animal provides, but also teaches you how to trust, relate without words, and modulate your energy. The animal’s presence helps you to open up more freely and feel safe when sharing your emotions. A dog or cat’s sympathetic and accepting response fosters a bond that allows you to feel heard without judgment. Once you learn to accept yourself through the unconditional love of an animal, you feel empowered to make changes that will improve your relationships outside of the therapeutic environment. 

I am currently working with an Australian Shepherd and a domestic cat as co-facilitators in therapy. We can meet in your home, in a park, or at any location that may feel comfortable to you. On many occasions, clients have requested I incorporate their own animals into the therapy. I welcome this opportunity and would encourage you to work with the animals that you feel will best support you. 

Adolescents learn self-awareness in a gentle way in AAT. Through their reactions to the teen, dogs and cats demonstrate how others may perceive them. Your teen learns to modify their energy in order to engage the animal. They then gain understanding about other pertinent relationships. Through specified activities with the dog or cat, they also learn effective communication, how to set boundaries, and how to authentically express themselves. Just by being with an animal, your teen is more likely to open up and express their true feelings. This is often what adolescents with Attachment Disorders, depression, or anxiety need in order to trust the therapist and feel understood.
Women inherently enjoy the presence of animals. Most women relate to animals easily, as they find that, like an animal, they have a natural intuitive sense and ability to nurture. Animals provide you with comfort, reassurance, and a feeling of connection. The nurturing atmosphere empowers you toward clarity and healing.
Couples and families benefit from AAT because animals help humans relate to each other unconditionally. They also facilitate clear communication by offering you authentic reactions to how you share information and exhibit your emotions.
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