Animal Assisted Therapy

/Animal Assisted Therapy

Listening with a Passionate Ear

In the last week or so I have caught myself thinking about how this business will not only develop but how it will continue. Naturally my hope is for it to establish well, develop and grow and go on and on and on… At this point HumAnima CIC consists of myself and good ol’ Flossie but where will it be 5 years from now?

It has taken the best part of 2 years to get to where we are now and that has been pretty intense to say the least. It isn’t something you can do full-time unless you have massive resources and perhaps oodles of existing experience in business. So at this point it’s very much a case of trial and error, listening and learning from the many people who surround me who have got those oodles of experience, be it in marketing, finance and accounting, counselling or just being good at what they’re good at!

I never ever tire of hearing people talk about what they’re passionate about. Too many times I’ve witnessed a steady grey colour take over the flush pink face of a listener when talking about my own passions and interests so I can only emphasize how important I realise it is to be able to express that passion and to have it listened to with intrigue, interest and attentiveness. It is a priceless feeling to know that you are “infecting” someone with your own passion, motivation and keenness for a subject.

I have met a few people in my life who have equal enthusiasm for their areas as I do for mine. The person who has undoubtedly had the biggest influence on me has been my dear friend, Dr Horace Dobbs, Founder […]

By |July 6th, 2011|Animal Assisted Therapy|0 Comments

The Search for Harmony

“Communion, at union with harmonious states of nature can be very important for modern people. It allows one to achieve inner harmony.”, Vladimir Antonov


The above, is a quote from a video I watched today that a member of an Ecopsychology group on Facebook posted. The quote jumped out at me immediately and I turned my thoughts to a recent Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) course that I have been doing in Birmingham. The course has been organised by Between You & Me Seva, another West Midlands based counselling service who focus on providing mental health support for multi-ethnic communities, taking into consideration cultural, ethnic and religious needs.

Initially, I embarked upon the course due to a personal interest in MBCT and also because I recognise it as an increasingly popular approach in counselling and psychotherapy. I hoped to employ aspects of the approach to my own work as a professional counsellor. What started out as curious dabbling in a new approach has become quite the journey!

The course has involved regular, thorough, disciplined meditation of varying time durations. The body scan is the longest, lasting approximately 40min. Then there are the 20 minute meditations, the 5 minute breath meditations and the Breath of Fire. Most have been brought to us in the form of guided meditations making them much easier to follow and allowing us the freedom to not have to worry about whether we’re doing it right or not. The body scan, for myself, is very easy to follow and along with other members of the group, I have found it to provide instant relief and relaxation, many of us falling asleep during the course of the meditation! Whilst the purpose of the meditation is not […]

By |June 27th, 2011|Animal Assisted Therapy|0 Comments

Celebration time!!!


Well, it’s finally happened!!! On Thursday the 23rd of June 2011, HumAnima CIC’s website officially launched! I wanted the website launch to tally with the Press Release (there will be a few different versions hopefully across the board) and sure enough, thanks to Sarah’s EXCEPTIONALLY hard work, some good co-ordination and communication both have been achieved successfully!

Admittedly, we will be changing a number of the pictures on the website as at the moment, it’s “Me” overkill! My own fault for offering too many pictures of me for Sarah to choose from! The important thing is, we have the general appearance (C’est SUPERB!) – check, structure – check and content – check, so I am ecstatic! To be honest, I can’t believe it’s really happening so it will take some time to sink in! Who’d have thought…

So please take the time to have a mooch around HumAnima CIC’s new website! Feedback welcome and please also pass it on far and wide to those who you feel may be interested or may benefit from working with us!


By |June 25th, 2011|Animal Assisted Therapy|0 Comments

Anita Roddick had the right idea…

“I have always found that my view of success has been iconoclastic: success to me is not about money or status or fame, its about finding a livelihood that brings me joy and self-sufficiency and a sense of contributing to the world.”
– Anita Roddick

The above quote, describes precisely my reasons for wanting to start a business. I don’t think it will make me money or bring me fame, which is good because it’s not what I’m after! It’s the impact my business has the potential to have and the difference it can make. After all this is the whole reasoning behind social enterprise and in particular Community Interest Companies (CIC’s).

It was my father who first told me about social enterprise. At the time, (and I must be going back at least 8+ years) he was telling me about Social Firms UK as back then he was the Manager of a Day Care Centre for people with disabilities. He set up a few ventures within the DTC as social firms – one was a woodwork SF whilst another was a nursery and mini garden centre. I often went and saw how much the service users passionately went about their work, often creating the most wonderful and beautiful things – from dolls houses to rocking horses to wooden planters that were then planted up by the service users in the nursery. Seeing it in action combined with my Father’s suggestion were sufficient motivation to plant the idea that has become HumAnima.

I did think about setting up an SF. However, one of the criteria for setting up an SF is that more than 25% of the workforce have to be disadvantaged people i.e. disabled people. I am not […]

By |June 16th, 2011|Animal Assisted Therapy|0 Comments

New beginnings

HumAnima CIC’s development continues at a smooth and steady pace. Next to the excitement, exhaustion is setting in. Despite that I continue to fight and battle and push and steam on forward to make this dream a reality.

With the blog up, HumAnima CIC’s social media presence has increased together with our new Twitter account and as I write this the website is being created by a wonderful friend and amazing designer and Reiki practitioner, Sarah. I simply cannot wait to see the website in action and get some feedback from all you lovely people and with that some business!

A press release is being prepared so look out for us in the news and to go with that, another lovely friend, Alice Marlow of Alice Marlow Photography (#Alice_Marlow) has taken some amazing photographs that I hope to put with the press release and the website. They really are lovely pictures! Thank you Alice!

I’ve been sorting out bits and pieces regarding paperwork and accounts and boring stuff like that *groan* but it has to be done and I’d rather be on top of it than not! I am constantly reinding myself of the terrifying statistics – the numbers vary – that around 50% of businesses fail within their first year of trading. However, with the recession on the situation is constantly trading. I can only hope that by being innovative, flexible and creative (and of course with a little hard graft) I can make this work!

To end on a high note, I will be attending an UnLtd Awards event next week to receive my Level 1 Award officially – a grant for the business together with business support. Very exciting!! So keep your fingers and toes crossed for […]

By |June 6th, 2011|Animal Assisted Therapy|0 Comments

“The time has come,’ the Walrus said, ‘To talk of many things…”

Well, it’s certainly been a long time coming. HumAnima CIC has been sitting in the nest, being nurtured, incubated and prepared to fledge and take off. I didn’t know whether and when it would happen. Now I know that it is, excitement is setting in mixed with a healthy dose of a reality check that’s screaming at me to put my administrator’s “head” on and knuckle down to the hard slog that this is going to require. If anything, I’m prepared to work hard.

HumAnima CIC is a social enterprise that will exist to provide a unique counselling service for people in the local area. What is unique is the availability and application of an approach known as Animal Assisted Therapy or A.A.T. Whilst I have had some people question me with a very bemused look, this has occasionally been verbalised with “What?… You give dogs a massage?”. Nope.

The Delta Society, which is the largest organisation which certifies therapy dogs in America, provides a formal definition of Animal Assisted Therapy:

AAT is a goal-directed intervention in which an animal that meets specific criteria is an integral part of the treatment process. AAT is directed and/or delivered by a health/human service professional with specialized expertise, and within the scope of practice of his/her profession.

AAT is designed to promote improvement in human physical, social, emotional, and/or cognitive functioning . AAT is provided in a variety of settings and may be group or individual in nature. This process is documented and evaluated.”

(From Standards of Practice for Animal-Assisted Activities and Therapy)

Whilst I recognise that this approach may not suit everybody, it will be a unique addition to more traditional humanistic counselling approaches that I […]

By |May 26th, 2011|Animal Assisted Therapy|0 Comments

Asking for info

For those who wish to find out more about HumAnima CIC please contact Kathryn at [email protected]

By |November 22nd, 2009|Animal Assisted Therapy|0 Comments