Animal Assisted Therapy
Treatment providers may use Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) using a dog - Marvel. Marvel is specifically used in session to increase and maintain the therapeutic alliance, as research suggests the relationship between the therapy animal and the client has facilitated the rapport between the client and the counselor. This is deemed important as the therapeutic alliance has shown to be the strongest predictor of treatment success. Additional positive outcomes in psychotherapy that AAT has demonstrated is in facilitation of trust, warmth, and acceptance, that is vital to the therapeutic process and the client's interpersonal relationships. Marvel also helps incorporate calming techniques through the repetitive motion of petting him and engaging in mindfulness. Animals do not know our past, education, gender, race, or other labels we may apply to ourselves and each other. They are in the moment and can be a part of this relationship without the biases we humans put on each other. This provides even more value in the insight they can provide us about ourselves.