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A barking idea from Sussex therapist that is helping therapy clients
Some may think she’s barking mad, but therapist Eva Weber has enlisted springer spaniel Daisy to help her clients.
The counsellor and psychotherapist has always loved dogs and has decided to use them in her work after horses, dogs and cats began to be used in therapy in America.
After meeting members of Sussex Caring Pets in 2010, who take animals into hospitals and schools to work with patients, she was inspired to try using pets in therapy.
The specialist in Gestalt therapy, a talking treatment, said: “For a dog, everything happens in the here and now.
“If someone in the room is angry the dog will move away. The client might see that as a small similarity to their relationship with people.
“You can actually learn a lot about how people form relationships but also how they relate to a dog.
“One of the main elements of dog-assisted therapy is that animals provide unconditional love and non-judgemental support.
“They bring out a lot in people and we behave in a very authentic way.
“It’s comforting having a dog around and stroking one can decrease anxiety and stress.
“Also having a dog around can help build trust between myself and a client far quicker.”
Picking up emotions
Ms Weber has only been using Daisy in therapy since the beginning of January, after getting her from a specialist breed rescue centre in Stoke at the end of last year.
She said Daisy, who is nearly three, is extremely perceptive and if people are sad she will often get on to the sofa and cuddle up to them.
Ms Weber, who is MBACP accredited and UKCP registered, said: “I think Daisy picks up on changes in emotions even quicker than I do as a human being, her reactions are immediate and she picks up on ever so slight changes.
“I would like to have more clients to see if Daisy is different with different people.
“But obviously I have to think about Daisy’s wellbeing as well and she will only see three or four clients a day maximum.”
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