What is Animal Assisted Play Therapy?
Animal assisted play therapy pairs animal therapy with aspects of play therapy for kids and adds a sense of warmth and silliness while learning to build trust.
The introduction of an unthreatening furry friend during animal therapy creates a calming and responsive environment, bringing a lightness and humour into the sessions and opening the child up for different therapeutic changes.
The animal therapy at Play Therapy Hub is assisted by three beautiful pups, trained specifically for the gentle interactions necessary for children to build trust.
“Cookie” is a male Cocker Spaniel, a beautiful playful, yet mature boy, Cookie is 7 years old. Cookie is also known to be cheeky and definitely a lot of fun.
“Coco” is another Cocker Spaniel, also 7 years old. Coco is female, and a lot gentler than Cookie and great for a cuddle. She’s a placid and calm dog who can make anyone’s heart melt.
“Pebbles” is a female Great Dane. Still a puppy at 1 year old, Pebbles is not a small dog however. She is a big soft giant who is eager to learn and loves being with kids, as much as they love being with her.
What to expect in Animal Therapy Sessions
In Animal Therapy, the animals and the therapist have a very special and trusted relationship .
This trusted relationship provides clients another outlet to help strengthen their relationship skills using playfulness, humour and emotional safety. Humour is very serious business in therapy.
Therapy can be very hard, sometimes scary work, especially for those who have experienced different types of trauma. Building play and humour into the process makes it easier to face the tough stuff.
Animal therapy gives children unique ways of forming trust and developing relationships and we are lucky to be able to offer it as a service at Play Therapy Hub.
Do you want to know a bit more?
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Therapy that includes play can calm the storm in your child’s inner world and bring some well-deserved harmony to your home.
Here’s what our happy customers had to say about their kids and our therapy services:
We began play therapy hoping that it would be an effective way of breaking the difficult cycle that I was in with my son. Our play therapist, Mardi, has a beautiful manner with our son and we have valued her insightful observations about what may be underlying his behaviours.
The combination of the play therapy and implementing her simple strategies has been very effective in changing things at home. We have found play therapy to be very beneficial for our family and are now undertaking filial therapy to continue to reap the rewards of the play therapy approach.
Natalie is fun, bright and bubbly. Through Play Therapy, she was easily able to connect with my child and we cannot believe how much he has transformed from being an anxious and unsure little boy, into the settled, confident and social child he is now.
My child has a trauma background. He’s getting the Play therapy for about 9 months now. I can’t not thank Helen enough for her help and support . It’s been a very hard journey but the result is amazing. He has got great control on his emotions. He is a happy boy now
Donna’s play therapy & animal assisted therapy work has been instrumental in supporting & developing an understanding of the underlying issues of our disengaged refugee students. Her expertise has also been welcomed by staff who needed insight in engaging & developing strategies to meet the needs of our highly challenging students.
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