Teletherapy Sessions with Animals: Initial Considerations

Posted by on May 14, 2020

Reports by therapists suggest that their own therapy animals or family companion animals are being involved in their teletherapy sessions. This process is not as straightforward as one might think. This blogpost outlines some key considerations for therapists prior to involving any animals in their sessions.

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Animal Assisted Play Therapy®: What Is It and Why Is It Trademarked?

Posted by on May 4, 2020

This article briefly describes Animal Assisted Play Therapy® and some of the elements that make it unique, namely the acceptance and welfare of the animals, the systematic incorporation of playfulness in the process, and the strong emphasis on relationships. It also discusses the trademarks that are used to define it.

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Assessment of Therapy Animals: Using a Goodness-of-Fit Conceptualization

Posted by on Apr 19, 2020

Determining if an animal is suitable for therapy work is an important consideration. Different roles for animals require different personalities and skills. It is also important to ensure that the animals are not stressed and actually enjoy their work, not merely tolerate it. This article discusses a goodness-of-fit conceptualization drawn from child development research as it is applied in finding roles that are compatible with animals’ personalities, interests, abilities, and motivations. The model used in the certification program of the International Institute for Animal Assisted Play Therapy® is outlined.

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Supporting Parents in Times of Crisis to Help Regulate the Emotional Temperature at Home. Guest blog by Geraldine Thomas

Posted by on Apr 7, 2020

When face-to-face therapy is no longer an option, what’s in the child’s best interests? This contribution by guest Geraldine Thomas of London (UK) explores considerations and ways that therapists can support parents in times of crisis to help them regulate the emotional temperature at home.

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The Concept of Resistance In Therapy: A Reexamination During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted by on Apr 4, 2020

While client “resistance” is a topic discussed by therapists in “normal” times, it takes on special significance during times of great stress. This article discusses some of the key factors that can influence client hesitation to engage in therapy during pandemics and other disaster situations, as well as suggestions for therapists to consider resistance as a normal part of the change process. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused large and sudden changes for everyone, including therapists and their clients. This blog discusses how therapists might think about and approach their clients with patience and empathy, even if it means that continuing telehealth therapy is delayed for a while as clients get their feet on the ground.

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Pandemic Response for Mental Health and Play Therapists – Some Thoughts and Considerations

Posted by on Mar 21, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in sudden and significant changes to lifestyle and wellness for vast numbers of people throughout the world. There is heightened anxiety about personal health, the health of loved ones, the health of the greater community, and notable worries about financial impact. During this period of physical distancing and community shut-downs or lock-downs, therapists themselves are being affected as well. There is much talk about telehealth, shifting therapeutic sessions to online formats. The level of stress among therapists is palpable and understandable. Some thoughts from the disaster mental health perspective are shared here for consideration and possible help.

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