Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a type of counseling that involves the intentional, therapeutic inclusion of animals. Interventions are designed around your custom treatment plan and may include petting, grooming, walking, teaching tricks, and playing with an animal. Or this might simply include sitting quietly with the snoozing dog, enjoying a present-centered, mindfulness moment. Research on AAT has demonstrated that it can be an effective treatment for lowering symptoms of depression and anxiety, and can improve emotional well-being for people struggling with major changes in their lives.
At CARE Counseling we have two therapy dogs--Benji and Macie. Benji, a rescue from West Virginia, is a hound mix with lots of playful, puppy energy. Macie, a maltese mix, is small and sweet, but knows how to hold her own and play rough with the bigger dogs. Both animals are cared for by members of the staff and go home each night to rest and recoup from work. Their handlers, Lylly and Christine, are currently undergoing the certification process for providing AAT in counseling. All members of the staff honor the AAT Competencies framework as written by the American Counseling Association.
If you have any allergies, medical issues, phobias, or other concerns about working with therapy animals, please call us directly to discuss your concerns. We will make every effort to ensure that you receive quality care.