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Counselor Affecting Change

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By ababy
Words 584
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In order for counselors to affect change, they must prove there is a need for the change; they must “have a vision of change; be persistent . . .” (Gibson, 2010, p. 352), and be able to provide evidence to back up the issue they are advocating for. The issue I would like to advocate for is the integration of animal-assisted therapy into more counseling settings. This type of therapy can be used effectively in a variety of settings, including private practice, prisons, nursing homes, detention centers, hospitals, schools, etc. It is particularly effective with at-risk children and adolescents, the elderly, and other vulnerable populations (Franchy, 2011). When animals are used in therapy, it makes it easier for counselors to build positive therapeutic alliances with their clients. Many children and adolescents prefer to communicate in non-verbal ways; therefore, when a counselor brings an animal, such as a dog, into the counseling session, it becomes much easier for a child or adolescent to open up and express their thoughts and feelings by “project[ing] their own feelings onto the dog” (Shallcross, 2011, A Comfortable Relationship section, para. 5). The child or adolescent is more likely to establish a relationship with the dog, which then transfers to a relationship with the counselor. The animal helps clients feel more comfortable with the counselor, which in turn, facilitates more trust, warmth, and acceptance. Animal-assisted therapy “facilitates breakthroughs with clients” (Shallcross, 2011, para. 1). It enables many different types of clients to open up more freely and express themselves in ways they would not have otherwise. There are endless benefits to using animals in therapy work, but more research needs to be done in order to prove its effectiveness when implemented in a variety of different settings and with various populations. Therefore, I would…...

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