Animal Assisted Therapy
Creative Family Counseling has long provided Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) with our 4-legged team members through certification with an organization called Pawsibilities Unleashed. Throughout their training with Pawsibilities Unleashed, the office therapy dogs had to demonstrate their therapeutic skills with a thorough evaluation process. Sometimes people ask if Therapy Dogs are allowed to be loved on, and the answer is ALWAYS “YES!” Unlike other service animals, an animal who is certified to provide AAT is there to provide love and healing for others, and that includes being loved on!
Animal-Assisted Therapy is a powerful tool that helps clients experience peace, safety, and healing at Creative Family Counseling. Not only do therapy animals provide social and emotional support for clients, but they also reduce stress and anxiety, promote engagement and trust, teach social skills, and offer a calming presence.
AAT can be offered with direct interventions from therapists, such as teaching focusing skills and mindfulness strategies or it can be offered to complement other treatment methods, such as petting an animal while recounting a painful experience. The bonds created between the therapy animal and the client can help to increase self-worth and trust and improve coping, social, and communication skills.