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Nancy Parish-Plass

Animal-Assisted Psychotherapist

I have had the luck to turn my love for animals and children into a profession. But my real passion is to use that love as a way to find and help children suffering from developmental trauma – chronic maltreatment starting in early childhood and carried out by someone in the child's caretaking system. I know of no greater "high" than helping these children, many of whom are alone with their secret until they finally feel safe enough, through the presence of animals in the therapy setting as cues of safety, to share their secrets with me and receive help.

I do my best to publish in the area of Animal-Assisted Psychotherapy about my experiences, research and ideas (theories based on my clinical work integrating academic knowledge) in order to bring our field of AAP to official recognition, in the hopes of helping more children. I truly believe that there are many children who, because of their lack of trust in adults that is justified by their life experiences of interpersonal trauma, will not trust a therapist and therefore will not get the help they so desperately need.

You can see more about my approach in the following interview with the Human-Animal Interaction section of the American Psychological Association

On a more personal level: I am a grandmother to 7 amazing and loving grandchildren (and one more on the way). I live on a kibbutz in Israel and enjoy the cooperative nature and mutual caring of the rural community I live in.

Nancy Parish-Plass
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