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Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) refers to the use of animals by health practitioners in work. AAT has been included in therapy from the beginning, starting with Freud’s dog Jofi who he brought into session to help clients feel more at ease. AAT has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms, lower blood pressure, and increase engagement. Pepper is a 30-pound Catahoula and Terrier mix; she is three years old and has been working at FPSK since April 2021.

Some FAQs about AAT:

What if I do not want Pepper in session?

That is completely fine, she will still be in the room but safely secured in her kennel. There is ALWAYS a conversation before she comes out of the kennel, at this point clients can specify if they would like her in session or not. This can vary from session to session as well.

Is Pepper hypoallergenic?

No, she is not. She does shed and could cause an allergic reaction. Please reach out if this is an issue, so we can arrange a safer option.

Can I bring my animals in?

No. Pepper has been trained to work with individuals in the office under specific circumstances and other animals are not a part of her training. However, if you have a service animal that needs to be in session with you, please let us know in intake paperwork and we will ensure that Pepper is not present for sessions.

How does AAT work in a pandemic?

The short answer is gel-pet-gel. Prior to folks petting Pepper they will be asked to gel with hand sanitizer and afterward, they will be offered hand sanitizer.

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