Emotional Support Animals
Are you wanting to explore if you should get an emotional support animal?
Do you want to make sure your animal companion stays with you in housing?
As a former animal trainer, with over a decade of experience, I would love to explore that with you...
I bring in my animal training and mental health training to make sure that both people and animals are comfortable. In order to be ethical and make sure this is an appropriate fit for every creature involved, I have a minimum 4 session process to assess for fit of diagnosis and animal.
Sessions will consist of assessment of both human and animal to make sure an emotional support designation is appropriate. Sessions will include training resources and guidance on getting your companion used to the scenario you wish them to be a part of, depending on need. More sessions or possible linkage with an additional animal trainer may be required.
If it is deemed appropriate you will also be required to attend a psycho-educational group on animal behavior, bite prevention, and ESA laws.
I provide consults and training for therapists and professionals on writing an ESA letter. Please visit here for more information.
What the Animals Taught Me...
Training April the Kangaroo to paint.
Being a therapist is my second career. I was an animal trainer for nearly a decade. I has worked with the Miami Seaquarium, US Navy, Moss Landing Marine Labs, and the Milwaukee County Zoo working with bottlenose dolphins, seals, sea lions, and a killer whale. I was a former lead keeper at Tanganyika Wildlife park caring for education animals and a mob of kangaroos, one of which she trained a kangaroo to paint. I also have years of experience working with dogs as a vet assistant, kennel tech, and as an assistant trainer doing basic obedience and assessing dogs for therapy work
No matter the books or classes, I feel strongly that my greatest teachers were the animals I had the honor to collaborate with. I am eager to combine her two worlds and empower therapists to be better advocates for humans and animals. I have had the honor of working with a dolphin to learn to give voluntary blood draws, help a sea lion get a check up, and partner up with a kangaroo who I taught how to paint. When you work with animals (no matter the species) you build relationships based on trust. The relationship you have with your partner, is based on trust, as is the relationship you have with your therapist.
My experiences with these incredible animals are why I adore working with relationships. They taught me the most important things I needed to know in how to build trust, respect, and compassion. This is why I am starting to expand my practice to include training therapists and teaching clients how to be advocates for their animal companions. I want to help support both clients and clinicians in using the strength of the human and animal bond to achieve better overall well-being.