Digby, a hypoallergenic lhasa apsa - maltese mix, loves coming in the office. She is friendly and engaging for clients of all ages and participates in treatment on a case-by-case basis. Digby quickly tunes in to the moods of children, teens, and adults and helps patients reduce their anxiety and feel at ease during sessions. She is affectionate and can be a source of comfort for clients. She also loves to play, cuddle, and take naps next to clients during their sessions. At times, Digby has been a useful example when talking with children about peer relationships, social skills, limit setting, and managing frustration.
Research, and my personal observations, show that a therapy dog often is a welcoming addition during counseling sessions. Dogs can be ideal healers in therapeutic interactions - such as cuddling up against a depressed adult or withdrawn child - and give love unconditionally. Friendly, non judgmental and well behaved, an animal assisted therapy dog helps put patients at ease.
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