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Animal Assisted Play Therapy

Weekend workshop with Tracie Faa-Thompson

We had a wonderful weekend with Tracie Faa-Thompson, with lots of laughter, play and new inspiration!

Play therapy is based on creating a safe therapeutic environment where children's natural tendency to play is used as a tool to improve children's communication, relationship building, to express themselves and to better problem solving. In Animal-Assisted Play Therapy, therapists use certified therapy dogs. Great emphasis is placed on creating a safe and good relationship between children / adolescents / adults and the animal. During the course we got to simulate several exercises in play therapy. We used dogs to teach children to improve concentration and impulse control. For example, we were able to simulate how we can encourage children to feel safe and increase mastery through play + much more.

We had interesting open discussions and were shown examples that focused on important topics when implementing animals in interventions. When is it right to use animals in interventions? In what way can the animals contribute and how can we protect the welfare of the animals in an intervention? What are the unique characteristics of each individual animal and how do we utilize those characteristics? Tracie has given us a lot of inspiration we can build on. The weekend went way too fast, but we hope it will be an opportunity for continuation ... Many thanks to everyone who participated, who let loose in the game and contributed to a great weekend!


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