Co-Therapist Profile

       It comes as no surprise to many that animals are increasingly recognized as therapeutic for people. Dogs in particular have been some of our closest companions throughout human history - for good reason. Recent reserach has documented the many health benefits of being in the presence of dogs. There is an increasing body of research supporting partnering with dogs and other therapy animals in session.  A number of studies now indicate that looking at, touching, and holding animals has been shown to reduce heart rate, increase feelings of safety and comfort, decrease stress hormones, and increase levels of oxytocin (a soothing hormone) in the human brain. Additional research is supporting the enhancing effects on therapeutic interventions when offered in the presence of a therapy animal. 

Source: Handbook on Animal Assisted Therapy - Theoretical Foundations and Guidelines for Practice (3rd Ed.) by Aubrey H. Fine
As a result of this research and personal experience with the healing power of interacting with nature in general and animals in particular, Serenity Psychology Inc. is pleased to share it's office space with Oberon "Obi" our friendly office Bernese Mountain Dog. Please see below to learn more about this loving companion. 

If you have a dog phobia, allergy, or are just plain uncomfortable around animals, please be sure to tell Elicia upon booking and she will ensure that Obi is not present during your session.   


Oberon "Obi"

Obi is a 2.5 year old Bernese Mountain Dog. This breed is well known for their gentle nature. They adore people and are very cuddly. Obi is especially skilled at comforting people by laying across their feet or placing his nose on their lap. 

It is important for therapy animals to be well trained and to ensure that they are well cared for. Obi is up to date on all of his vaccinations. While there is no current set of agreed upon training requirements, Obi has successfully graduated from the following trainings.

*  Level 1 and Level 2 Obedience Training - Waggles Academy
* Class 1 Prepare your dog for AAI - Dreamcatcher Animal Assisted Wellness Acdemy
 * Class 2 Public Access Skills- Dreamcatcher Animal Assisted Wellness Acdemy
* Class 3 AAI Activities- Dreamcatcher Animal Assisted Wellness Acdemy