Many research studies have documented the benefits of using of animals in therapeutic settings. Besides aiding physical health, animals can enhance the mental health of people. Many people benefit from the unconditional affection from a friendly animal, especially during times of transition or difficulty.
Therapy partners like Sam, Boo, and Charley can help people feel more comfortable with the expression of emotions as well as helping those who have difficulty reading cues from their environment.
When brought into a counseling session for an individual or family, a dog might sit next to a shy or hurting person and offer some comfort merely by being there. People often open up when petting a friendly dog.
Liz Graham and each of her therapy dog partners, Sam, Charley and Boo, are registered therapy animal teams that volunteer as Pet Partners. (See below for more information on therapy dog training.)
Sam, Boo, or Charley will only join a session when appropriate and with client permission.