Educational Counseling Using Animals

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    Auto-Scroll: ONOFF 
    • 00:02

      [MUSIC PLAYING]

    • 00:11

      DR. DAVID DEBOER: Tivo is a seven-year-old black laboradorretriever who came to the Wellness Center in Augustof 2012 at the age of five, after his loving owners hadpassed away and he was returned to the kennel wherehe had been trained as a puppy.He passed a licensing exam that'soffered through Therapy Dogs International that certifies

    • 00:33

      DR. DAVID DEBOER [continued]: him to go into nursing homes another clinical environments,in hospitals, as a licensed therapy dog.Following the tragic shootings at Northern Illinois University

    • 00:54

      DR. DAVID DEBOER [continued]: nearby, my colleagues and I were among many colleagueslocally who volunteered on that campusas students were coming back.And we saw just how successful the animal therapistswere in reaching those students in a powerful way--

    • 01:14

      DR. DAVID DEBOER [continued]: that it got us interested in bringing that experience backto our students even in less traumatic times.So a typical day begins early whenone of our student volunteers brings Tivo to work.Each day, one of our counselors takes him across campus

    • 01:36

      DR. DAVID DEBOER [continued]: and spends some time in the library or placeswhere they spend their time.If a student is en route to the hospitaland there's some downtime and a high-stress timeas we're waiting for transport, Tivocan be a really great comfort as a studentis in a high-stress situation.And that comes up from time to time.And he participates in homesickness groups,

    • 01:59

      DR. DAVID DEBOER [continued]: in transition groups that we offer for studentswho are dealing with being away from home for the first time.Therapists find with some patientsthat Tivo is actually helpful in s counseling visit.

    • 02:13

      DIANNA STENCEL: Hi.

    • 02:14

      SPEAKER 3: Hi.

    • 02:14

      DIANNA STENCEL: Glad to see you.Come on in.Tivo is able to make it too.OK, so how did this week go for you?

    • 02:24

      SPEAKER 3: It's been OK.I'm still really missing home.I'm really struggling being really far away from my family.And it's been quite hard in moving here.

    • 02:36

      DIANNA STENCEL: So in individual therapy sessions,I generally use Tivo with those students thatare having a hard time regulating their emotions.So for some of our students who arecoming to college for the first time,maybe their homesickness is so significantthat they're having a hard time regulatingand calming themselves down.You seem like you're doing much better todaythan you were the last time I saw you.

    • 02:58

      DIANNA STENCEL [continued]: Is it helping that you're being able to petthe dog as we're talking?

    • 03:00

      SPEAKER 3: Yeah, definitely.He makes me feel really relaxed, and that's just really niceto come and see him.It reminds me of home.

    • 03:08

      DIANNA STENCEL: Some students that Ihave been seeing in therapy ask to see the dog,because they know that they want to tell me something that'sbeen challenging for them and that they're maybeafraid to reveal.So I know that you're nervous about makingthese calls to find these new therapists.So he's going to help you.So if you sit on the floor, that will probablybe better for him.

    • 03:29

      DIANNA STENCEL [continued]: He works hard.With students that-- maybe this will be the first timethat they're getting connected to a therapist,or it might be finding a new therapist when they had oneback home that they were connected to.Those students too sometimes make calls with meas they're petting the dog.Well, great.So I think we have a good plan to try

    • 03:49

      DIANNA STENCEL [continued]: this between this week and next week.So I'll see you next Thursday.

    • 03:52

      SPEAKER 3: Definitely.

    • 03:53

      DR. DAVID DEBOER: All right.

    • 03:53

      SPEAKER 3: Thank you so much.Bye, Tivo.

    • 03:59

      DIANNA STENCEL: See you next week.

    • 04:00

      SPEAKER 3: See you next week.

    • 04:02

      DIANNA STENCEL: Bye.

    • 04:02

      SPEAKER 3: Bye.

    • 04:03

      DIANNA STENCEL: Tivo's been a fantastic assetto the community.He's helping us destigmatize mental healthwith our Talk with Tivo program, where human therapists getto take out Tivo to places where a lot of students are.

    • 04:14

      DR. DAVID DEBOER: We're taking Tivoto a Talk with Tivo session at the Information Commons, whichis part of our library space-- a study spacewhere a lot of students spend time when they're not in class.We're going to give students a chanceto have a kind of informal, unplanned study break,and have a chance to meet Tivo and take a break.It's part of our effort to try to meet students where they're

    • 04:36

      DR. DAVID DEBOER [continued]: at-- and, in particular, studentswho may be reluctant to come into the Wellness Centerto meet a counselor, we're tryingto provide some comfort and stress relief experience wherethey're oftentimes the most stressed-- make them awareof our services and also just helpthose who maybe have cold feet about walking through our doorsto put a friendly face on the Wellness Center.

    • 04:58

      DR. DAVID DEBOER [continued]: So we do this once a day at Information Commonsat our Student Union and at Academic Student Servicesbuilding.Most people, I think, love animals.And many of our students have dogsthat they've left behind at home.So it can really alleviate homesickness, too,to be able to kind of have a dog away from the dog at home.

    • 05:21

      DR. DAVID DEBOER [continued]: Even though he's a licensed therapy dog, he's also a dog,and that's the biggest part of his appeal for students.Hi.

    • 05:48

      DR. DAVID DEBOER [continued]: Yeah, good boy.Good boy.So now we just wait.You want to say hi to Tivo?

    • 06:23

      SPEAKER 4: Hi.

    • 06:24

      DR. DAVID DEBOER: Hello, how are you?

    • 06:25

      SPEAKER 4: Good, how are you?

    • 06:26

      DR. DAVID DEBOER: Good.You know each other?

    • 06:28

      SPEAKER 4: Yeah, actually.I wanted to come say hi to him.

    • 06:31

      DR. DAVID DEBOER: Is he too busy?

    • 06:33

      SPEAKER 4: I just finally got to.

    • 06:34

      DR. DAVID DEBOER: He's a popular guy.He can have more than four hands on him at a time,so he kind of likes it that way.The more the merrier, right?

    • 06:44

      SPEAKER 4: I miss my dog.

    • 06:45

      DR. DAVID DEBOER: You miss your dog?Oh, you all three have a dog?Tivo's office hours happen every dayat different places on campus, and his scheduleis posted online on our website.And so we have some students who count on him being thereand come to visit him.And then we have many students leaving classes or comingand going from the library who take the time to have a study

    • 07:07

      DR. DAVID DEBOER [continued]: break by interacting with Tivo.And then it gets informal dialoguegoing with our counselors.At that time we can take that opportunity to let studentsknow about resources we offer, support groupswe offer, other resources at the Wellness Center--also check in with how students are doingin their own environment and cast a wider netthan see only those students who come in for scheduled therapy

    • 07:30

      DR. DAVID DEBOER [continued]: appointments with human counselors,How are midterms going?

    • 07:34

      SPEAKER 4: Scary.

    • 07:35

      DR. DAVID DEBOER: Scary?

    • 07:36

      SPEAKER 4: Mine haven't started yet.

    • 07:37

      SPEAKER 5: Yeah, neither have mine.

    • 07:39

      SPEAKER 4: [INAUDIBLE] on Friday.

    • 07:40

      SPEAKER 5: I have one on Friday.So that'll be fun.

    • 07:44

      SPEAKER 4: Thursday, and then Monday and Tuesday, so--

    • 07:49

      DR. DAVID DEBOER: Yeah.[INTERPOSING VOICES]

    • 07:52

      SPEAKER 5: Bye, Tivo!

    • 07:53

      DR. DAVID DEBOER: Nice to see you.A lot of college students tend to really live in their headsand be kind of overly intellectualized.One of the great things about Tivois that it can pull students outside of their headsand into a more balanced way of living and being.

    • 08:13

      DR. DAVID DEBOER [continued]: The Zen of a dog in there and what a dog's temperament is--and it can kind of rub off on students.We're also aware that there's scientific research thatshows that cortisol levels-- which is a stress hormone--go down after interacting with animals,and that pet owners have lower bloodpressure than non-pet owners.

    • 08:33

      DR. DAVID DEBOER [continued]: So those kinds of findings certainlyvalidate our experience of seeing students really justgravitate toward Tivo, give such positive feedback,and have such great experiences with Tivo.Tivo has been a wonderful addition to our centerand to our campus.There's a reason dogs are known as "man's best friend."There's a kind of unconditional love and warmth and comfort

    • 08:57

      DR. DAVID DEBOER [continued]: that you experience in interacting with a dog.And it's been great to be able to bringthat comfort to our students.

Educational Counseling Using Animals

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Abstract

Tivo Licensed therapy dog, Tivo is a black Labrador that works at a Wellness Center. Tivo's job is to help college students deal with school stress or even just homesickness. Dr. David deBoer explains the many ways Tivo benefits these students. Animal Therapy can be useful during students' counseling visits and during down-time from studies.

SAGE Video In Practice
Educational Counseling Using Animals

Tivo Licensed therapy dog, Tivo is a black Labrador that works at a Wellness Center. Tivo's job is to help college students deal with school stress or even just homesickness. Dr. David deBoer explains the many ways Tivo benefits these students. Animal Therapy can be useful during students' counseling visits and during down-time from studies.

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