Siena is a 4 1/2 year old golden retriever rescue who lives with her companion human, Michela. She is a registered Canine Good Citizen and Emotional Support Animal.
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.
Animal Assisted Therapy in Denver at Connected Brain Counseling
On the days that Siena goes to work, she makes the rounds at our office in Edgewater. You may see her throughout your neurofeedback program, qEEG Brain Mapping Therapy Program, and can also 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. Most clients find that having a dog in the room increases their ability to relax...even if they didn't recognize they were stressed to begin with!
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?
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.
Is Siena friendly?
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.
Do dogs like being in Animal Assisted Therapy?
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.
I don't work with Michela. Can I still see Siena?
You may run into Siena in the hallway, however she only works with Michela in session. Dogs need their humans, too!
What is Siena's schedule?
Siena usually works on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, though if she demonstrates any signs of wanting to stay home - she gets to play hooky!
I am allergic to dogs. How do I make sure I am not scheduled with Siena?
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 in Denver
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)