Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy is a therapeutic intervention that incorporates animals, such as dogs, into the treatment plan. It is used to enhance and complement the benefits of traditional therapy. Research shows that working with animals in an outpatient mental health setting provides a calming, comforting resource during therapeutic processing. In fact, the simple act of petting animals releases an automatic relaxation response, releasing serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin- all hormones that can play a part in elevating moods and promoting healthy processing of emotion.

I am a Certified Animal Assisted Therapist (CAAT), and have received extensive training through the Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado’s certification program. I have experience providing therapeutic interventions in a variety of settings that harness the power of the human-animal connection in healing. I really believe in the comfort provided through this special relationship we have with animals.

In my practice, I offer animal assisted interventions to my clients as deemed appropriate. My dog, Fender, who you can learn more about below, accompanies me to the office on scheduled days. Clients are made aware of her presence at their appointment beforehand, and of course, clients are welcome to decline her presence at their appointment and any interaction with her if they choose. Many clients find that the presence of a dog makes therapy more approachable, relaxed, and comforting.

Meet Fender

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Fender is a Pomeranian-Chihuahua mixed breed. She was born on May 10, 2020. She is a rescue from Bluegrass Pet Rescue in Crestwood, KY. Fender is an American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen, and is a Registered Therapy Dog with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. Both are nationally recognized titles from organizations that uphold high standards for their members. She has experience working with people in a variety of settings, including schools, nursing homes, libraries, community work, and of course, going to work in outpatient mental health with her handler. She enjoys working with adults and children alike, but can be a little shy at first. She loves belly rubs and learning new tricks.