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Lee Kehoe is a counselor working with the older adult population. It is her passion to serve the older adult population through counseling, research, and advocacy efforts, with the hope of raising awareness to the growing needs of older adults and their families. www.kehoemhcounseling.com

  • 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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  • He likes dogs more, so what?

    Apr 06, 2010
    One of the adolescents in our dog program said the other day that he now loves dogs. Just like that. That might not seem like much of a stretch for a court adjudicated youth in a 12 week dog program, but to him a youth whose life revolved around getting high-- it was. He has a Maltese and a pitbull puppy at home and liked how they looked and liked the reactions that he got from others, but that's as far as it went. After learning about dogs and working with the shelter dogs we have in the program, he said he now truly loves his dogs at home and treats them better. I asked him if that changed how his dogs responded to him and he emphatically said yes! They never approached him before, but now, when he's home on pass, they sleep with him. From a therapeutic perspective, we might ask, so what? What can this do to help him integrate positively back into society?
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  • Children Who Abuse Animals

    Mar 16, 2010
    “One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or torture an animal and get away with it.” ~ Margaret Mead. We know that homes with family members who have domestic violence charges often have an animal abuser in the home. Sometimes those animal abusers are children. Statistics show that 6 ½ is the median age for the onset of harming animals…which is earlier than bullying others, acts of cruelty to people, vandalism or fire setting. For professionals, animal abuse by a child should be considered a warning that a child may be experiencing some form of psychological or physical distress.
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