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Therapy and the Human-Dog Bond

Maximizing Your Own and Your Dog’s Therapeutic Potential

The more experience one has as a psychotherapist, the more one comes to rely on one’s personal attributes and one’s relationships with patients.

Early in most therapists’ careers, graduate training has a huge influence. Most psychology training programs, especially those that are part of research universities, emphasize the importance of acquiring theoretical knowledge and diagnostic and therapy skills. Interpersonal skills, and personal attributes, are give much less attention.

But with experience, those once-neglected if more difficult to measure skills and attributes become more and more important. Today, in my practice, who I am as a person is just as important as what I know.

That’s why your relationship with your dog can be therapeutic without your knowing about the latest research into how dogs think, and certainly without your dog learning to speak.

Just as I needed to trust my intuitions and to allow my feelings to inform my understanding of people and their life challenges, so too can you learn to trust your intuitions and feelings about your dog.

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