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Introducing Dublin, Dr. Bailey’s canine co-therapist!

Introducing Dublin, Dr. Bailey’s canine co-therapist!

dublin-therapy-dog

Meet Dublin the therapy pug! I would like to take this opportunity to proudly introduce another member of our team. Although he is small and furry, the impact that our therapy dog has made on a number of clients has been very significant! He has been a tremendous source of comfort when children are sad or anxious. In addition, he acts as a wonderful co-therapist when children are upset or angry. On several occasions, the children that we treat have been extremely frustrated and have yelled or been verbally aggressive. During these times, Dublin, therapy dog extraordinaire, has shown to be instrumental in helping them calm down. For example, a school-age boy, who has a history of anger outbursts, was screaming in the office and overturned a board game. Dublin leapt off the couch where he had been cuddling with the child and ran behind my chair. I calmly explained to the boy that he seemed to be scaring Dublin. Immediately he calmed down, apologized to the dog and came over to pet him. We were able to use this episode as a teaching tool for my client, who was better able to see how he came across to others because of Dublin’s reaction.

Animal–assisted therapy is a therapeutic intervention that is used to complement and implement established treatment goals. Dogs, horses, and even rabbits are used to help assist clients to reach their goals. Scientific research has noted positive therapeutic effects for mental health conditions such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorder, trauma, attachment disorders, substance use and relational issues.

Pet Therapy has been shown to decrease heart rate and blood pressure, as well as increase endorphin and dopamine release. The animals’ calming presence and non-judgmental stance provides the perfect opportunity for clients to learn to build trusting relationships, improve their empathy skills and learn to respect boundaries that are set, as well as set their own. Furthermore, incorporating animals into therapy serves to improve verbal and nonverbal communication skills, teaches responsibility and accountability, and can help to develop self-confidence and social skills. We are so happy to have Dublin as part of our Roswell team!

You can reach Dr. Jennifer Bailey (and Dublin) at jennifer.bailey11@gmail.com.