The day will offer a mix of basic AAI theory with many different examples of what this looks and feels like in practice. Sarah will use photos of sessions to raise some of the essential questions that we need to consider as would-be practitioners.
"My approach is collaborative, relaxed and discussion based, giving everyone who wishes to, an opportunity to share their knowledge and ask the questions that are important to them.
I use a power point presentation as a frame but it is very visual and helps ensure we cover important subject areas including; standards, benefits, frameworks, models, client suitability, assessment and training of animals/dogs, session structure, measuring outcomes, safe practice, ethical issues, animals welfare, endings and loss.
In the afternoon we will have the chance to work with Pretish's dog, Baba for some active hands on experiential learning as well as further consideration of the body-based aspects of the work.
We will reflect on the fact that animals live in the ‘here and now’ and how that might be helpful to our clients; the opportunities they give clients to experience ‘safe touch’, maybe for the first time; and how we can integrate mindfulness practices into Animal Assisted Counselling sessions."
- Sarah Urwin
About Animal Assisted Interventions
Time spent with animals, especially dogs and horses, can lead to a better awareness and understanding of our own thoughts, feelings and behaviours, helping us to develop more effective ways of relating to ourselves, as well as developing better relationships with others.
For clients with a history of trauma, working alongside animals can help them learn how to regulate their emotions, face their fears and develop an ability to nurture and empathise. Animals are not judgemental or critical, they live in the ‘here and now’ and when we work alongside them they encourage us to join them in the present, paying attention to their body language and improving our own awareness of what is going on, moment by moment, in our bodies.
Young clients may learn new skills, such as problem-solving and taking responsibility, through working with dogs and other animals, which in turn may lead to improved self-confidence and self-esteem. From the therapists’ perspective working with therapy animals may help clinicians ‘go under the radar’ of children’s defence mechanisms, offering a clinical bridge and helping to foster a more therapeutic relationship.
Cost: £45 / £40 (For Aashna Residents & Students).
A delicious complementary vegan/vegetarian lunch will be provided.
Chandler, C.K. (2017) Animal assisted therapy in counselling (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge
Fine, A. H. (Ed.). (2015). Handbook on animal-assisted therapy: Foundations and guidelines for animal-assisted intervention (4th ed.). San Diego, CA: Academic Press
VanFleet, R. & Faa-Thompson, T., (2017) Animal Assisted Play Therapy. Sarasota, FL: Professional Resource Press.