Moe is a 2 year old Golden Doodle who lives and works with Wendy Walker, MA, LP. A Golden Doodle is a cross between a Poodle and a Golden Retriever, originally crossed for the non-shedding coat of a Poodle and the personality and temperament of Golden Retriever, which is considered one of best family dogs. The Goldendoodle is an affectionate and gentle dog that has gained popularity since he was first developed in 1990s. Goldendoodles are usually highly social and get along well with others and thrive when they are in contact with the people they love.
When Moe first came to Wendy, he was very anxious, did not walk on a leash, had never been on concrete and did not like going through doors of any type. After obedience training and meeting other canine friends, Moe began to show his warm, affectionate personality.
Moe then completed a rigorous training to become a therapy dog and was certified by Therapy Dogs International in May 2019. He now works with Wendy weekly at Calli, providing emotional support to clients and the team at Calli.
When It's Used
Animal-assisted therapy can be a useful intervention for individuals or groups. A meta-analysis of 49 studies reporting on animal-assisted therapy found positive outcomes and overall improved emotional well-being in those with autism, medical conditions, or behavioral issues. Another review of randomized, controlled studies found that animal-assisted therapy can be helpful for those battling illnesses like depression, schizophrenia, or addiction. Anyone who dislikes or fears animals or is allergic to them, is not a likely candidate for this particular intervention.
What to Expect
Depending on the nature of your therapy and the type of animal involved, you may keep a dog, cat, or other pet at home and at your side throughout the day for emotional support, or you might learn to ride and care for a therapy horse that is housed at an equestrian school. You and your therapist may discuss your animal while you are working with it, or you may set aside another time to talk about your experiences. If you are in a hospital, school, nursing home, rehabilitation center, or another type of community center, you may not have a relationship with a psychotherapist, but a volunteer with a trained therapy pet might visit you.
How It Works
Animals can provide a sense of calm, comfort, or safety and divert attention away from a stressful situation and toward one that provides pleasure. Advocates of animal-assisted therapy say that developing a bond with an animal can help people develop a better sense of self-worth and trust, stabilize their emotions, and improve their communication, self-regulation, and socialization skills.
*Content sited from Psychology Today website psychologytoday.com
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