Animal-Assisted Counseling

Animal-Assisted Counseling

According to the Animal-Assisted Academy, Animal-Assisted Counseling (AAC) is a goal-directed process in which a trained mental health practitioner-animal team works together to help clients resolve mental health and behavioral challenges and achieve growth using the therapeutic powers of Human-Animal Interactions. AAC often involves using experiential and expressive interventions that include the therapy animal. AAC maintains that the presence of the therapy animal makes an impact, regardless of the level of involvement of the therapy animal. AAC can be used with children, teens, and adults in both individual and group counseling settings.

Adrianne Ortiz, LPC, RPT, and her canine partner, Starlette Princess Rose, were certified at the Animal-Assisted Counseling Academy located at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Starlette is a Bichon Frise. The Bichon Frise is a friendly, docile, and hypoallergenic breed. In addition to Starlette’s training at the AAC Academy, she completed a year of obedience training and graduated at the advanced level. She also obtained her Canine Good Citizen Certification presented by the American Kennel Club.

Starlette is a therapy dog; she is not a service dog or an emotional support pet. Petting Starlette is permitted, clients will be shown the proper way to greet and pet Starlette. We ask that clients approach Starlette quietly and slowly. Hugging or picking up Starlette will not be permitted. Starlette enjoys greeting clients in the waiting room, we ask that you remain seated and she will come to you.

Adrianne and Starlette currently work with children and teens ages 6 – 18. Starlette will not work with anyone with a history of animal abuse or violent behavior. AAC session openings are limited and scheduling for AAC is not flexible. If you are interested in AAC, please contact an Intake Specialist at 325-944-2561 to schedule an intake session and to find out if your child is a good candidate for AAC.

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