Animal-Assisted Therapy is an adjunct service to individual therapy. AAT is a well documented method of therapy for child behavior disorders, trauma therapy, grief therapy and other counseling issues.
Everyone asks, “What does the animal therapist do?“ Animal Therapists reflect client’s behavior and mood. They model positive behavior and provide positive reinforcement for positive interactions. They also provide a calm comforting companion during difficult discussions. It is often easier for some clients to establish rapport with an animal than a person. Animals universally represent unconditional acceptance and approval.
Levi is an animal-assisted therapy dog that works with Jennifer D. Massey, LISW-CP. Levi is a Golden Retriever and certified therapy dog through Alliance of Therapy Dogs, Levi is a good therapist because he only responds positively to calm assertive commands. He mirrors a client’s response to him. If they are avoidant he becomes distant. If they are welcoming he will be very affectionate. Levi likes to jog, swim and retrieve tennis balls in his spare time. Levi works one day a week with prescreened clients.