That experience with Gita and the Beaver Pond has been alive in my mind for a long time. I’ve re-imagined it, and I’ve wondered what made it click. I incorporated it into a story for children and have tried to make it happen again by going into Read More
Therapy and the Human-Dog Bond
Intimacy–whether between two people or between person and dog– opens people up to new experiences, it connects people, and it helps people explore new aspects of themselves.
Many years ago, I experienced a magical moment watching a beaver build a dam in a small pond in the woods Read More
One of the things that makes the relationship between a psychotherapist and his or her client or patient therapeutic is the healing power of relatively unguarded conversation.
When therapy goes as it is intended, the therapist creates a safe, warm , kind, and protected environment. In this protected environment, the patient or client can allow Read More
As I write this, I am sitting on my sofa with Sasha, all 23 pounds of her, curled up so close to me that a piece of onion skin wouldn’t slide between us. Sasha is a particularly social dog, but to lie motionless as she is while I write is unusual. It would be Read More
Your dog may not be suited to being an official therapy dog, one of those dogs who visits patients in hospitals, nursing homes, or assisted living facilities. However, he or she can be, and probably is therapeutic for you, perhaps in ways you don’t always notice.
I’ve written previously about the reciprocal Read More
Empathy, the ability to see and feel the world from another person’s perspective, is a crucial ingredient in all intimate relationships. Over 20,000 years, dogs have developed this capacity, some to a truly remarkable degree.
Most children are naturally empathic. They can learn to be even more empathic, and to have empathy even under Read More
The capacity to form a close and secure attachment is important to having a fulfilling life. And yet, many people of all ages have huge problems with attachment. Some very young children–and I’m speaking here of children 18 months and younger–lack the experience of having an adult who is always there, always Read More
In my practice, animal-assisted therapy has a specific meaning: applying knowledge of the unique bond that can between people and dogs, as well as the great interpersonal skills of Sasha, my canine partner and an unusually sensitive daschund-mix.
My youngest patients connect instantly with Sasha, who eagerly greets them with a wagging tail and, Read More