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Animal Assisted Therapy in Denver


Meet Siena

Siena is a 4 1/2 year old golden retriever rescue who lives with her companion human, Michela. 

She gets excited to meet her clients at the door, however her temperament is mellow and she will likely snooze near your feet during session.


What to Expect from Animal Assisted Therapy at Connected Brain Counseling

Siena makes the rounds with her companion human and owner of Connected Brain Counseling, Michela. You may see her throughout your neurofeedback program, qEEG Brain Maps, and can request counseling sessions with her present.

Siena will interact as appropriate with clients though is most frequently used in the room as a calming source of energy. 

What to Expect


According to a meta-analysis from 2005-2011 93% of mental health clients show measurable improvements in mood and affect when a therapy animal was present (via Psychology Today)


  • Will Siena and I interact in our sessions?​​

  • Is Siena friendly?

  • Do dogs like working in AAT?

  • I don't work with Michela. Can I still see Siena?

  • What is Siena's schedule?

  • I am allergic to dogs. How do I make sure I am not scheduled with Siena?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no! Siena will likely greet you at the door for some pets then relax in her bed during session unless she is called upon to work.

The friendliest! Siena loves all people and dogs, though you may hear a bark at the door as you come in to greet you hello.

AAT guidelines ask that clinicians only have therapy animals who show signs of enjoying work. Getting excited to go to the office, greeting clients positively and having an engaging demeanor when working all demonstrate a positive response to AAT. If there comes a time when a therapy animal no longer demonstrates these qualities, they may retire.

You may run into Siena in the hallway, however she only works with Michela in session. Dogs need their humans, too!

Siena usually works on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, though if she demonstrates any signs of wanting to stay home - she gets to play hooky! 

Inform your primary clinician of any allergies or fears of dogs and we will prioritize you in Room #1 which is kept allergy free. 

Learn More About Animal Assisted Therapy

We all know how therapeutic it can be to come home to your 4 legged friend wagging their tail. Naturally, having a therapeutic animal in the counseling room makes therapy a more positive, relaxed experience as well. 

Connected Brain Counseling is founded on empircally backed research for all modalities used in session. Animal Assisted Therapy is no different! 

Read the Research

Some of the documented benefits of having a therapy animal present during a counseling session include:

  • "[Clients] had less agitation and more social behavior with pet present" (1)

  • "Subjects had lower blood pressure and heart rates in response to an acute mental stressor in the presence of a pet" (2)

  • "Using animals in therapy sessions leads to a remarkable drop in stress, anxiety, depression, fear, and loneliness among patients" (3)

  • Hypothesized positive feelings of attachment with animals contribute to overall feelings of happiness (4)

  • Decreases depression, anxiety, and disruptive behavior (Hartwig, 2017)

  • Enhances psychological health (Fine, 2006)

  • Increase in client motivation to participate in counseling and sense of safety (Lange, Cox, Bernert, & Jenkins, 2006/2007) 

Puppy Love is In Your Future.

Let's get started.

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