Coming to therapy isn't easy - often we are talking about things that feel really difficult, and sometimes things we've never spoken about before to anyone.
Sure, your therapist is very likely a kind, compassionate and skilled human, but they are (at least initially) still a stranger.
Relationships with humans can be complicated, and often we can have had tricky experiences with other people. Depending on our experiences it can, understandably, feel really hard to trust other people.
So imagine you come to therapy, and there's a dog waiting to see you. A dog that each week will be so pleased to see you, and will remember you each time. Imagine a dog who wants to sit on your lap, who has soft ears to stroke, and who reminds you that you are in the here and now. A dog who is able to help your nervous system relax because they are feeling calm, safe and grounded, and who can slowly help your nervous system to feel the same.
Maybe coming to therapy would feel a bit easier each week?
As a Clinical Psychologist and Animal Assisted Therapist, I have seen first hand the power of dogs in therapy. As a Psychologist on an adolescent ward I have seen teenagers shift from feeling really unsure about the idea of speaking with a therapist, to having a queue of young people outside my office door!
In the therapy room I have seen the power of feeling accepted and trusted by a dog in building self esteem and self belief. And I have seen the ability of Therapy Dog Jara to sense what her clients need in that moment, be that comfort, calmness, or at times a bit of humour!
Jara is available to see clients with Dr Charis with Beyond the Clinic Room in Crouch End, North London. If you would like to find out more about how Canine Assisted Therapy could help you please do contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org