Canine-assisted therapy uses dogs to promote health and healing. As many of us know from personal experience, dogs are accepting, comforting and non-judgmental, making them ideal therapy companions.
This form of therapy began being used in the mid 1970’s in a variety of clinical settings and was found to be effective for people of all ages and emotional issues.
Dogs often mirror our feelings, as such; canine therapy can help teach people to manage their emotions. The calmer we are, the more agreeable the dog becomes. Learning to be more self-aware and in touch with our feelings can be very healing.
Children and teens respond particularly well to canine therapy, developing trust and strong bonds with the animals. Many find it easier to open up and talk when the focus is on the dog.
In canine therapy, clients may:
Following these tasks, the therapist processes the experience with the client, gaining insights into their feelings about the experience as well as the way the lessons learned can apply to other situations.