Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson is a counselor, lecturer, founder, and program director of the non-profit organization, Teacher's Pet: Dogs and Kids Learning Together.

  • Touching Our Hearts

    Jul 01, 2010
    I would like to continue with the second Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) tenet used to help individuals create new positive neural pathways; developing new ways of thinking and being.To recap, these tenets are love, touch, relationships and experiential learning. Todays message is on the power of touch in AAT.
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  • All You Need is Love

    Jun 09, 2010
    “Although humans inherit a biological bias that permits them to feel anger, jealousy, selfishness, envy and to be rude, aggressive or violent, they inherit an even stronger biological bias for kindness, compassion, cooperation, love and nurture – especially towards those in need.” – Jerome Kagan In my last blog, I gave an overview of the Animal Assisted Therapy tenets that are used to help individuals create new positive neural pathways. These tenets lead to new ways of thinking and being and include 1) love 2) touch, 3) relationships and 4) experiential learning. I’d like to address these tenets individually over the next few weeks, beginning today with love.
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  • Are Successful Animal Assisted Interventions All in Our Head?

    May 26, 2010
    “We now assume that when psychotherapy results in symptom reduction or experiential change, the brain has, in some way, been altered” (Cozolino). In the wake of the 1990s “Decade of the Brain,” much of the resulting counseling research suggests moving away from the sole use of talk therapy towards integrating sensory based interventions…particularly with individuals who have experienced trauma, abuse or neglect. The brain’s neural plasticity means that past behavior doesn’t have to dictate current behavior. Neural plasticity is reached at the sensory (mid-brain) level which indicates that alternative modalities may need to be used as an adjunct to talk therapy.
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  • People with Autism and Animals Have Similar Mental Processes

    May 13, 2010
    Temple Grandin has a PhD in animal science, is an associate professor at Colorado State University, is a bestselling author and is autistic. She is an animal behavior expert who has spent most of her life designing humane equipment used in slaughter houses to keep the livestock from experiencing intense fear. Inflicting fear, she says, is the worst thing we can do to animals or people.
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  • If You Can't Be a Dog, Live Like One

    Apr 16, 2010
    Dogs have such an uncanny ability to live in the now; appreciate the good times and forgive the bad. I want to share this essay that seems to sum up my sentiments so succinctly. I am not sure whom to credit as it's been cross-posted a dozen times. I hope that it inspires you, as it has me, to remember "If you can't be a dog, live like one."
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