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Power of Dogs In Psychotherapy

I am a hypnotherapist and I use both hypnosis and psychotherapy in my work with people and located in Encinitas, California. Willie is my labradoodle’s name. He weighs about forty pounds and is a blonde brown eyed pup that loves to be loved. When a new client arrives in my office before I come out to formally greet them I stick my head through a partially opened door and ask, “Do you like dogs?” Nine and a half times out of ten the answer is an unqualified, “Yes!” With that I tell them that I have a pup that is eager to meet them and I allow Willie to enter the waiting room. Willie then prances out to the waiting room and wiggles his whole body and wagging tail in greeting. Even the most hardened-to-life’s-travails client cannot resist those innocent and eager eyes…those eyes that say, “You are not a stranger and never have been! I am thrilled to see you again! I love you and please love me, too!” And any anxiety my new client might have had at being in a new therapist’s office disappears. Suddenly they are relaxed and in their own living room just being themselves. Such is the power of dogs in any kind of therapy. And those few folk who say they are neutral to dogs are often transformed. Who can resist love? No one. And just because Willie is (just) a dog doesn’t take away from the power of what he gives. His message is simply, “I love you.” But that is not the only message Willie sends. Willie is the doggie embodiment of innocence. He is the child that dwells within all of us. He is the child before we realize that this world is difficult and is often willing to cheat us out of our rightful knowledge of how wonderful we really are. He is the corny platitude that says that all that matters in life is the experience of love. He says that we must love and and allow ourselves to be loved. That is the power of dogs. And for a moment my clients are exposed to this powerful message in just a brief moment of pink tongue, wagging tail, and wiggling body. Willie gives my clients something in just seconds that, if we are lucky, my clients will experience after hours of therapy. Thank you, sweet Willie, for giving that which is so important.


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