Canine Assisted Therapy
Nadja is a two-year-old 50-pound Golden Doodle. She has become a vital part of my practice. Nadja’s job is help clients reach their goals.
Nadja is gentle, friendly, playful, intelligent and hypoallergenic. She can curl up next to you on the couch and be a soft warm center of safety. Or she can lay in a quiet circle at your feet. She can even lick away tears.
Nadja was selected as a puppy to become a animal assistant therapy dog. She has a private trainer and has completed basic and intermediate obedience as well as basic agility training.
Animal Assisted Therapy invites trained therapy animals to provide goal-directed interventions and support to psychologists and their clients. Nadja's role is to provide unconditional affection and non-judgmental acceptance. She is a great teacher of mindfulness and being in the here and now.
Supportive and loving animals can help reduce anxiety and sadness. They can provide a bridge of connection and help move people to attachment security. They can produce a calming effect and decrease blood pressure and heart rate. They can help create a circle of emotional security. They can help children, teens, and adults increase emotional awareness and regulation, reduce loneliness and facilitate rapport.
Petting a dog has been shown to help diminish emotional and physical pain. They can help with becoming present reducing anxiety, anger and depression.
What does a session with Nadja look like? In many cases therapy will be the same as always except Najda is present, in the room. In other cases, especially with children, Nadja and will be directed to interact in some specific way to meet a specific therapeutic goal. For example, a non-compliant child will be asked to help teach Nadja how to listen and learn a command.
Nadja is at the office certain days. Her participation is at the discretion of therapist and client.