Many of my clients over the years have loved and benefitted from having one or more of my pets be a part of the therapy. Some clients have brought their own pet into the consulting room for a visit. Everyone has a choice to NOT have an animal present; you need only say so. For many people having a furry pet nearby can be very comforting, anxiety reducing, and uplifting. Here I've provided some links about the benefits of pets for emotional well-being.
For many years, I brought my previous Italian Greyhound into therapy and he became very important to many of the people "we" worked with. After he died, I knew in the future I'd want to adopt and train another "canine co-therapist" to join me. In November 2012, I got another tiny Italian Greyhound girl, Charlotte, who is about 15 pounds now, who accompanied me to the office most of the time. In 2020, Charlotte got a "little sister", Juni, who has started coming to the office and seeing clients, as well. Over the years, my dogs have warmed the hearts of many, and maybe as important as their connections with others, is that they keeps the therapist smiling and relaxed! When they do come to the office now,, in general, they sleep through most of the day, but typically after bounding to greet people when it is time for their appointment.
I have sought out professional training/continuing education about using pets in therapy.
I have helped many individuals struggling with grief about the loss of a beloved pet. Our relationships with our animals can be some of the most important ones in our lives.
"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms." - George Eliot
Matilda, d. 2013
"All of the animals except for man know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it." - Samuel Butler