Therapy Dog Therapists (for Therapists, and Therapists of Therapists of Therapists)

It certainly sounds like an intelligent idea

Note to self: beware of the “species gap.”

You’re probably thinking that a therapist that wants therapy could simply see a colleague, who might themselves see another colleague, and so on. And, undoubtedly this happens. But not every therapist wants to lay themselves bare in front of their peers. And then there’s the simple math of the matter. If every therapist sees a therapist who sees a therapist, and so on, it will eventually require infinite therapists which is infinitely more therapists than anyone wants.

But there just may be a four-legged solution begging at our feet. We all know that dogs, with their inexhaustible excitement to see us, are a reliable source of comfort. While not as complex and versatile as human practitioners, they’re more than happy to let us do most of the talking and they require no costly credentials. It seems only natural to explore the limits of their powers to fill this void.

No one said it’s going to be simple.

It make take several attempts, but don’t be discouraged. The key to all successful dog training is persistence. In time it will pay off.

Good girl!

Of course, not everyone has the patience and focus to be a good therapist. Luckily, when it comes to dogs, there are lower expectations for any kind of back and forth exchange, allowing any penchant for distraction to go unnoticed.

Success! I think.

We’re on our way, but keep in mind that even in the best of situations, the doctor patient relationship can be complicated. With pets, it is particularly fraught.

Don’t let a little complexity be the bogyman that ruins this great idea.

It’s hard to know if this will ultimately work or not. Good science demands that we gather empirical data. But that’s not easy when it comes to the efficacy of therapy, and especially pet therapy. That means we’ll have to settle for whatever anecdotal, imprecise, or completely erroneous data we muster. Feel free to post yours below.

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