Hi I am Sadie Quinn a big lovable St. Bernard born in Cabool, MO on Aug 19, 2017. My name means “Sweet Counsel”, and I have been working as a canine therapy partner since I was 4 months old. I passed my first obedience training in May, 2017, and I still attend school to learn even more about how to relate to humans in a human world. I love receiving attention and greeting clients when they come for their counseling sessions. I also love most treats but my favorite is a bone filled with Liverwurst. My favorite games are playing catch and tug of war. Please don’t be alarmed if after I meet you I lean into you, give you my paw, sit at your feet., or jump up next to you and put my head in your lap.
I know that sounds great but are you wondering how I am helpful in a therapy session? Why would my presence in your therapy session help you overcome feeling depressed or anxious? Great questions! And the quick answer is research has shown that I am helpful to you. But I will get to that in a minute.
I like to start at the beginning and say I am glad that animals have been known to assist humans since forever. Dogs (me) in particular were integrated into the human clan and used as a support to the family life since they were roaming in the cave man era. Then as time went on we became noted as an emotional support and were used to help victims of war by Florence Nightingale and in other settings such as convalescent hospitals to help individuals interact and heal. The helpful use of a canine in a psychological therapeutic setting was noted first by Dr. Boris Levinson by happenstance in the 1960’s. During one of his therapy sessions he left his dog in the room with a non-communicative child he was working with. When he came back into the room lo and behold the little girl was talking with his dog, Jingles. Since that time human research has given positive proof to the physiological and psychological effects I have on an individual within a psychological therapy session.
Now back to that research part. Research has shown that my interaction with you will decrease physical and emotional reactions to depression and anxiety. Our interaction will increase the release of Oxytocin a hormone identified as a “feel good hormone” enhancing the well-being of you. My presence also provides you with a place to feel safe and supported helping to increase your willingness and ability to address difficult things. I help to set the stage for difficult exploration and personal growth to occur as well as being a warm furry welcome and support. The other parts of the session I leave to my human partner’s professional skill and knowledge.
You know being a dog I like to keep things simple so the best part of our work together for me is the way you pet and hug me. I accept you unconditionally just the way you are and I know you do the same for me. How I feel when we are together is all I need to know that we are good for each other.
I hope we get time to be together.
Canine Therapy Partner
Animal Assisted Counseling of Indiana