Allison Olds, Activity Therapist at CenterPointe Hospital and Amy Ruppel, Recreation Therapist participated in a group presentation on Animal-assisted Therapy at the Community Council of St. Charles County Network Luncheon held at the Spencer Library on November 2nd.
Allison Olds explained that therapy dogs help improve the lives of individuals with mental health and addiction problems by lifting spirits, improving communication, increasing social interaction and providing a non-judgmental, accepting experience for individuals. Therapy animals can be used with all ages groups to provide comfort and support and to improve physical, social, emotional and cognitive functioning.
Amy Ruppel discussed the training and certification process for how a therapy animal can become an integral part of a treatment setting. Her therapy dog, Bella, helps individuals deal with anxiety and stress and her calming nature provides a sense of well-being and reassurance to everyone who experiences her.