My guest on this episode is Christina Strayer (Ed.D). Dr. Strayer obtained her Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from Argosy University, Sarasota, FL. She is a licensed practicing counselor at 180 Counseling in Garner, NC with two therapy dogs of her own. Dr. Strayer and her canine co-therapists work with individuals with many issues including depression, self harm, trauma, ADHD, autism and PTSD. Her therapy animals are rescues who have experienced trauma and Dr. Strayer uses their stories to provide hope to clients. Dr. Strayer is also a professional speaker for PESI and teaches on the topic of Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT). She is also currently writing an AAT treatment manual . Dr. Strayer has received training through Pet Partners and Carolina Canines. Dr. Strayer is an Adjunct Professor at Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC where she has taught School Counseling, Practicum and Internship, Crisis Management, Counseling Techniques and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Animal assisted therapy is the goal directed intervention in which an animal that meets a specific criteria is used and integrated into the therapeutic process by a mental health professional. This episode is packed with practical information like: the difference between animal assisted therapy and animal assisted activities, the different types of animals that can be used in animal assisted therapy, specific training for the animal and therapist, as well as neuroscientific findings of health benefits of AAT.
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