Canine Therapists, or more commonly called Therapy Dogs, have been used for many decades to help people in need. There are many types and breeds of Therapy Dogs, but they all serve the same wonderful purpose: to provide emotional reciprocity, warmth, comfort and support to those who need it. Many people therefore call them “my angel”, and for a good reason!
What are Therapy Dogs?
Whilst a regular family dog might be a wonderful provider of fun and comfort, Therapy Dogs are even more than that. They are specially trained, over years, to provide support to those people who have been experiencing emotional distress. Sometimes, they just provide their loving presence. Sometimes they are there for person to pat them, cuddle them or talk to them. They listen. Their eyes and body language say “ I am here for you. I hear you. I care….” Very often this is all that a sad or worried, lonely person needs to be able to smile again.
Therapy dogs are therefore named “ Canine Therapists”. In variety of health disciplines, Canine Therapists provide different type of specific help. Some would even be trained to complete specific tasks, such as providing deep pressure therapy or helping someone with anxiety disorders or dissociative experiences, to ground and to calm down. People who dissociated into horror, often said that the eyes of a Therapy Dog, and their soft touch, often brought them back to the safe place. To life.
Where do Canine Therapists fit into the Psychology process?
Therapy Dogs are becoming increasingly popular in the field of psychology. This is because they have been shown to be incredibly effective in improving therapeutic relationship, therapy process and indeed treatment outcomes. For example, Therapy Dogs have been shown to reduce stress levels, anxiety, and depression. This way, the person would be more able to express themselves, to reflect, to connect, to be mindful… to make more balanced observations and choices. They can also help to increase social skills, self-esteem, and overall well-being.
How we use Therapy Dogs at Inspire Mindful Psychology
Therapy Dogs are a valuable partners in Mindful Psychology because they can help us to be more present in the moment. Connected with self, as well as others who can help. When we focus on petting a Therapy Dog or Canine Therapist, or even playing with them, it can help us to process some stressful experiences easier. It also help, at times, even to forget about some of our stressors and worries. Ability to ground better and be more calm in addressing conflicting triggers, can be an incredibly powerful skill, a ‘tool’ for helping us to manage our mental health.
If you are interested in learning more about Therapy Dogs, or if you think a Therapy Dog could help you, please contact us today to find out how Luna, our young and friendly Canine Therapist, can help (along with Dr Merima Isakovic, Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Neuropsychologist) .
Therapy Dogs can make a world of difference to those who need them. They are angelic beings, for sure.