Animal Assisted Therapy in Madison, WI

Zola works with therapist  Alison Manley

Zola works with therapist Alison Manley

Animal-assisted therapy involves animals as an adjunctive component of treatment. A therapist who has a pet in the office may be less threatening, particularly to children or vulnerable adults. This can help to build rapport and a sense of safety. Dr. Theodore McTubbins (Theo), Westside’s senior therapy dog, is trained to provide affection and comfort. Theo brings a fresh perspective to everything. Working with Ben Heinrichs, LPC, Theo brings levity and curiosity to every encounter. Jason Levine works with Bug, who is always upbeat and interested. Our newer additions to the AAT team include Zola, who works downtown with Alison Manley, and Buddy, who is teamed with Faith Lerner.

Only present when the client agrees, therapy dogs have been found to have calming effects on humans, activating the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in lower blood pressure and heart rate. When discussing difficult emotions, clients report feeling comforted by the presence of a calm affectionate, furry companion.