Animal Therapy or Animal Assisted interventions are helpful with a variety of clients including children, teens, and adults. Incorporating animals into therapy sessions has been proven to decrease anxiety and offer coping when discussing difficult topics.
Mosaic Creative Counseling partners with the Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Animal Therapy Department. At TMH, Animal Therapy teams consist of one animal (typically a dog) and one handler. Before becoming a credentialed team with TMH, both handler and animal complete thorough training and temperament testing to ensure that both are well equipped and ready to participate in Animal Therapy sessions. Keep in mind that the animal handler is well versed in confidentiality and adheres to the same level of confidentiality as mental health professionals.
In an Animal Therapy session, there are at least three people and one furry friend in the room. The therapist, client, and animal handler are present during sessions with the therapy animal, typically a dog. During the session, the client can bond with the animal while continuing to address their mental health goals with the therapist. The animal handler is a highly trained individual, whose job is to read the needs of the animal and advocate accordingly. As the handler they do not intervene in the therapeutic process. Animal Therapy sessions are not therapy sessions in which clients bring their own pet or animal.
Are you interested in trying Animal Therapy? Clients can switch seamlessly back and forth from traditional Counseling to Animal Therapy if they wish. There is no formality needed, just communicate with the therapist or on your referral form! We are always open to helping clients try new things and find out what works best!
The Tallahassee Memorial Animal Therapy Department is the only one of its kind in the Big Bend and has been fostering the therapeutic bond between people and animals since 2005. Learn more how animal therapy is making an impact throughout the community and how you can get involved.
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