MHCCF Meeting - Using Animals to Enhance the Therapeutic Process

  • Friday, May 16, 2014
  • 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
  • All Saints Church, 338 E Lyman Ave, Winter Park, FL

Meeting Agenda:

8:30-9 a.m. - Registration and Sign-in

9 a.m. - Announcements and Introductions

9:30 - 10:30 a.m. - Speaker

Speaker: Susan Sheppard, LMHC

TOPIC: Using Animals to Enhance the Therapeutic Process

DESCRIPTION: Across the globe human beings have had a fascination and interest in non-human species since the dawn of time. The use of animals in healing also has a long history. Many people may be aware of how horses and dolphins are being uses with mentally and physically disables individuals. But can the presences of a dog, cat, bird, fish, or other non-human in your office setting really enhance the therapeutic process? Come learn what researchers and clinicians have discovered and experienced with animal-assisted therapy (AAT).


1. The participant will learn and discover the the roots to the overwhelming growing interest in animal-assisted therapies.

2. The participant will learn the physiological, emotional, and social affect animals can have on people.

3. The participant will understand some of the ways animals can be incorporated into a therapeutic practice.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER: Susan Sheppard is a Licensed Mental Health counselor with over 30 years of experience in the counseling field. She has a private practice in Winter Park. She is certified in Imago Therapy.
Susan has always had a love for animals. When her daughter took up horse-back riding and acquired a horse she discovered that helping her daughter groom and care for the horse was spiritually beneficial to her. Recognizing this personal benefit motivated Susan to become trained in Equine Assisted Growth and Learning (EAGALA). Susan discovered how dogs can be used in counseling while visiting a friend and colleague who has a private in Jacksonville, and whose dog accompanies her at the office. She recently adopted a standard poodle named Sophie. Susan is currently training the dog and furthering her understanding of how to use Sophie as an assistance in her counseling practice.

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