Animal Assisted Counselling
Animal Assisted Counselling is about appreciation of the creatures in the natural world-wildlife we see every day, or our pets.
Animals can give us a sense of feeling understood, of not being judged, of being accepted, as in the person-centred approach to therapy.
We may be emotionally moved by photos or paintings of animals. Working with the Gesthalt approach, which is about what is happening for us right now, it is about being aware of animals in the moment, and taking time to notice how they make us feel.
Working with psychosynthesis, animals can help in therapy with our understanding of our ‘selves’, out identities, such as having a work persona, and an ‘at home’ persona’.
Animal Assisted Counselling can be part or your therapeutic process if this would suit you. We will discuss this on our initial session together, and plan your individual counselling process.
Example of Animal Assisted Counselling
I met a Squirrel
Well, a funny thing happened yesterday. I was in the garden, watching a squirrel with a hazelnut in his mouth, perched on the fence. He seemed to be contemplating a good place to hide his find. He froze, motionless as he noticed me. I stood very still, and became aware that my heart was really racing. ‘Funny,’ I thought- ‘I have just walked up the steps, but I can’t be that unfit!’
As I looked at the squirrel, I noticed that his little chest was quivering. I had a strange sensation that I was sensing his heartbeat fluttering in my own heart. I calmed myself by slowly and consciously breathing. As I felt my heart beat return to normal, the squirrel twitched his nose, and lofted a front paw. He stayed put, but no longer seemed to be afraid. This was a very precious moment of connection with such a pretty creature until he was frightened away by a passing dog walker. I see him each morning, busy in the garden, so hopefully we can meet up again.