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Meet the K9 team!
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There is considerable research supporting the involvement of dogs and other animals in working with those who experience emotional and psychological difficulties.

In my work, many of my patients struggle to regulate their emotions. This in turn finds expression through their behaviour.

Selectively using my dogs alone and in combination, as appropriate, provides enormous regulating benefits for this and many other mental health difficulties. Those with Social Anxiety often respond to ‘walking/training with the dogs’ sessions. Sometimes, just stroking and communicating with them offers a sense of connection and unconditional acceptance.

Oscar (left) is a 3-year-old Springer Spaniel and was introduced to patients from 12 weeks. He is very sensitive, and adolescents seem to warm to his slightly "regal" behaviour. As the pack elder, he will often position himself in a boundary holding way, a little like a herding behaviour.

Jess (centre) is a 2-year-old Sprocker (Springer & Cocker mix) in many ways the ‘star of the show’, she appeals to all ages and is extremely good at reading facial expressions, body language and behaviour. Like Oscar, she is adept at spotting and responding to emotional distress and is also loved by all she comes into contact with.

Lucia (right) is a seven-month-old Tri Colour Springer and is a little too young to be actively involved, although she will learn in time and will be used selectively.

Both Oscar and Jess have been invaluable with many patients who experience Autistic Spectrum disorder and have enhanced the capacity for non-verbal reading in such children and young people. This is because as they don't speak, other reading skills are required, and this is typically something which is compromised with ASD patients. Astoundingly, this aspect of the child or young person can begin to emerge.

The dogs are used selectively, as a therapeutic tool. They respond easily and quickly to commands and receive twice-daily focussed and fun training together, much of which is non-verbal. They are all registered assistance dogs, and further information about them and their work, including testimonials, is available on request.


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