Frequently Asked Questions
they ask no questions;
they pass no criticisms."
- George Eliot
Animal Assisted Therapy
Many of us seek social support to help us adapt to difficult situations. However, when faced with traumatic situations, it can be challenging to foster trust within a relationship. This can leave us feeling isolated, afraid and unsure of where to turn for help.
Introducing a trained, nurturing animal into therapy can be a helpful first step. Through this unique connection, we learn to develop trust and find comfort in addressing the burdens that led us to seek therapy initially.
Here are some of the benefits you can experience through Animal-Assisted Therapy:
Experience of loving companionship
Stimulation of healthy physical interactions with another living being
Increased mind/body connection that is anchored by our animals
Unconditional emotional comfort
Increased oxytocin (peptide hormone that creates sensation of a loving bond)
Decreased heart rate and blood pressure
Asset to developing therapeutic rapport with Therapist
Our healing process is often complex and truly impacts one’s whole self. As author James Lynch describes in The Broken Heart: The Medical Consequences of Loneliness, the health of the human heart depends not only on… genetics, diet and exercise, but also … the social and emotional health of the individual.” Animal-Assisted Therapy is a great way to tend to our social and emotional health throughout our journey to healing.
Sunny is a six year-old, Golden Retriever/Labrador mix who understands the miracle of second chances at a new life. At one year old, Sunny’s life was spared when she was transferred from a kill shelter to the Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Wellington, Florida. Katie Chiasson, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, recognized Sunny’s potential to offer emotional support and comfort through therapeutic service and adopted her with a bigger purpose in mind for her life.
Sunny spends her days offering companionship to Katie and therapeutic support in Katie’s Psychotherapy Private Practice in Boca Raton FL. In this capacity, Sunny is able to demonstrate to clients what it means to be in a trusting, non-abusive relationship. Her presence in the office aids in the reduction of anxiety levels and assists in grounding clients who experience hyper-vigilance, dissociation and related PTSD symptoms.
Recently, a client reflected that her interactions with Sunny have been her first experience of positive trust. She disclosed that due to a history of extensive abuse, she was unable to maintain relationships without anticipating attacks from others. Katie was able to utilize Sunny to show the client that although she has been hurt in the past, recovery through trust in positive relationships is possible.
Sunny has worked hard since her adoption to become a skilled and attentive contributor to the therapeutic work that Katie facilitates. Sunny has completed her training in becoming a Canine Good Citizen, an Emotional Support Animal and is a registered Therapy Dog with Therapist Dogs International.
Payment is required at the time services are provided.
Payment may be made via cash, check or credit card.
Insurance is NOT accepted as a form of payment. However, invoices may be provided by the therapist upon request for the client to peruse reimbursement through their health insurance provider for psychotherapy services provided. The therapist does not dictate or hold responsibility for reimbursement of any provided psychotherapy services.
Please review the FAQs for further information.
Notification of at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled session for cancellation or rescheduling is expected. Failure to comply with notification policy will result in the requirement of full payment for the session.