If you are an animal lover and love the companionable wag of a friendly furry tail, you are welcome to have our English Cocker Spaniel, Flossie present during your counselling session. Flossie, our Therapy Dog is trained and temperament assessed and has been working alongside me for a number of years.
Clients have said that having Flossie present helps them to relax and they find it easier to talk about what really matters. Some client will stroke Flossie, talk to her or laugh when she says “Hello!”. Flossie might come over to you during your session to ask for a fuss or to see if you are ok.
Flossie is a very friendly and affectionate Cocker Spaniel who loves nothing more than to chase after her ball, playing fetch. She also loves tummy rubs, gravy bones and chasing squirrels.
During your session, Flossie will be in the room with us and you are welcome to play with her, fuss her and talk to her. We may do some activities with Flossie or use the theme of animals during your session to help you get the most out of it. If at any point it is felt that Flossie is uncomfortable, unwell or unhappy we will address the situation as smoothly as possible. It is important that we meet the welfare needs of everyone involved in the session and that includes any Therapy Animals.
Research and anecdotal evidence is on the increase that demonstrates that interacting with animals is good for us physically, psychologically and emotionally. We are passionate about the human-animal bond and recognise the benefits that you can gain from interacting with animals therapeutically which is why we offer this approach. Research has shown that counselling with Animal Assisted Therapy enhances the therapeutic relationship between client and counsellor, encourages relaxation, improves mood and helps clients filter through overwhelming feelings and emotions to get to the root of what they need to explore. You can find out more here.
During initial contact, you will be asked whether you would like to have Flossie present during your sessions. You will also be informed of appropriate ways to interact with Flossie so that everyone is safe and comfortable.
You will also be asked some questions to help us decide if counselling with Animal Assisted Therapy will be appropriate. Please do not worry. This is not a test. It will however, aid in deciding the best way to work together to help you. It is important that you feel comfortable in your counselling sessions as you are investing in your wellbeing!
All clients are invited to see our Therapy Dog Policy which outlines what you can expect from your interactions and sessions with Flossie but also what is expected of you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask!