Colorado Springs Animal Assisted Therapy

Animal Assisted Therapy – Therapists and Counselors in Colorado Springs, CO

“Our love is stronger than words and shoes”
-Max the terrier to his owner Katie (Secret Life of Pets)

It’s almost dangerous to walk a dog nowadays, especially if it is a puppy. Just a casual stroll with your favorite four-legged mammal will cue a shouted “DOG!” and mass rushes of excited children, overly enthusiastic teenagers (but who remain very cool) and yes, even adults.

No one is immune to that strange lure of petting anything that is cuddly, lovabable and preferably a dog.

Which is why Colorado Springs Thriveworks is pleased and excited to introduce you to our newest member of the therapy team: Eibsee (Eeb-see) the Bernese Mountain dog, a certified and trained therapy dog. Together, her and a human member of the team can now offer pet therapy for all clients (and no extra cost).

What is Pet Therapy?

Animal assistance therapy, as it is sometimes called, is a proven method to enhance the effects of therapy. Animals have been used on college campuses around Finals time as a stress reduction method, in hospitals to ease chronic pain in patients, and in nursery homes to bring joy.

The animal therapy does not mean that Eibsee will be the main focus of the therapy session. The focus will remain on you and the client-counselor relationship. Eibsee will be there as a tool to more effectively reach your goals for therapy.

Colorado Springs Thriveworks realizes counseling isn’t a one size fits all. Similar to how some can hike with tennis shoes, others need sturdier hiking boots and some like to have a walking stick to provide stability and security, animals can provide the comfort and security needed in a therapy session.

Pet therapy is like counseling with a walking stick, except the walking stick is an adorable, cuddly animal!

What are the benefits of Pet and Animal Therapy?

So, yes, obviously snuggling with a dog while talking to one of our Colorado Springs counselors would be amazing, but are there any actual benefits?

Yes! Pet therapy offers many psychological benefits that could get you to your happier and healthier self, faster than a normal session could offer.

Some benefits of interacting with a friendly and calm dog include:

  1. The release of endorphins which elevate your mood. (The same ones that are released after exercise…so maybe it is a good thing your furry friend ate your running shoes!)
  2. Lowers blood pressure- the physical act of petting a dog is found to lower blood pressure more than simply talking to or seeing one.
  3. Can reduce physical pain
  4. Overall people feel more relaxed with a therapy animal, most likely due to the physiological effects noted above.
  5. Alleviates feelings of loneliness and social anxiety
  6. Encourages communication
  7. Does not judge and has endless love. Our staff makes sure the office is a safe and nonjudgmental space, but having a dog makes it even more so!

With a dog in the room, you are suddenly not alone! The Colorado Springs Thrivework’s counselors are here so you are not alone and so you have a partner walking with you through the dark times. We understand that in the initial stages of therapy, it can be awkward and even intimidating talking to a stranger- especially a stranger who you know you will be sharing some personal stuff with! Eibsee can be your ally during these times. She is friendly, loves new people and would love to sit with you as you adjust to this new relationship (and continue to sit with you for as many sessions as you would like!)

Similar to our Walk and Talk therapy, this added dimension of sitting with a dog- increases your mood and decreases any adverse symptoms you may be having. You’ll leave feeling better than you arrived and the session is overall more effective.

Who would benefit from Pet therapy?

Anyone can benefit from pet therapy at Colorado Springs Thriveworks, and we encourage you to try it (Eibsee would be thrilled to meet you!)

There are some circumstances, however, that we think could receive extra benefit from animal therapy. This includes: (but is certainly not limited to!)

  • Social Anxiety- if you struggle with social anxiety, the last thing you want to do is have a personal conversation with a stranger. We get it! Having a personal conversation with a cuddly dog however? It can reduce any anxiety you may feel in the session.
  • Children- especially those who aren’t keen to meeting strangers. Having a dog to interact with first can acclimate them talking with the therapist. When the dog shows them love, and then demonstrates the same confidence and love towards the therapist, it shows the child that we can be trusted.
  • Mood disorders- like depression and anxiety can be improved by pet therapy because of the positive effects it has on mood.
  • Low self-esteem- the unconditional love of a dog can increase confidence in yourself.
  • Anyone who is having trouble talking about sensitive topics- Eibsee can serve as a way to address those issues indirectly. Talking about her can lead us to talk about you.
  • Problems with talking or connecting with others
  • Those who struggle to remain focused or lack self-control

Almost anything you would see a counselor for could be helped by therapy with a dog. Call Colorado Springs Thriveworks if you think Eibsee could be of assistance to you! We have no waitlist and would be excited to work with you! When you call to schedule, simply let them know that you’d like to have Eibsee in the appointment. 719-266-3919

Thriveworks Counseling Colorado Springs

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Overall Rating: 5★★★★★ based on 21 5 1 21 reviews. See all reviews
Thriveworks Counseling Colorado Springs

Jerry was Amazing!

★★★★★
Jerry was amazing! Jerry uses choice theory in order to help his patients grow and work through their problems. Choice theory was helpful through my relationship counseling but also could be used individually to helps each person grow themselves. Jerry used real scenarios in order to water down the theory, making it less scientific and more geared toward individual use. Jerry was patient, helpful, and very understanding.
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Rachel

★★★★★
My therapist Rachel is the perfect therapist for me and the first one who I've told almost everything to and I could never ask for a better therapist thank you Rachel for changing my life and making a difference in my life and protecting me as well as helping and encouraging me even when I didn't wanna do your challenges cuz I didn't think I could do it and thanks for not letting me do whatever I want and helping me be a better person and thanks for your funny spider stories that cheer me up and when you were Sarcastic sometimes I love everything about you and thanks for being an Angel and for your kindness and Compassion I too have your back and care about you!
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Saved my Daughter

★★★★★
Cassie has done wonders for my daughter. She has come so far in this past year. I am so thankful for the relationship my daughter and I have now. Before Cassie we were a wreck. We love so Cassie so much. I couldn't ask for a better councilor/ therapist/ mentor.
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Rehabilitation

★★★★★
Thrive has helped my husband so much. He has vestibular issues and it creates bad balance problems. It also has created left side weakness and he has had to use a cane to assist him with walking and stairs. Since being treated at Thrive, he only uses his,cane with stairs now and on occasion when he isn't feeling that well. His balance has improved abiut 65% also. His moods are much better now also since he can get around better by himself! Thank you Thrive for all you have done for my husband and our family!
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Thriveworks

★★★★★
I love going here every Monday it's the best thing to talk to someone that I connect with and helping me through my challenges.
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Awesome care

★★★★★
Lindsay Schustedt has been seeing my 6 year old for a few months now. My daughter has been excited to go to counseling since she gets to see Lindsay. Lindsay has also been able to learn more about the issues that my daughter is experiencing. I believe that Lindsay is a very good counselor and I look forward to taking my daughter to see her in the future. I also have appreciated the communication that Lindsay has had with me regarding my daughter. Thank you Lindsay and ThriveWorks.
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The best therapists across the Front Range!

★★★★★
I was recommended to Thriveworks by District 11 for my son who is diagnosed with Autism, PTSD, ADHD and RAD. He had a quite abusive life, prior to my adopting him. Directly from the onset of my scheduling his intake to his intake appointment, my spirit felt that this was going to be the correct place for him to be. Rachel, his therapist, is amazing! The entire staff is amazing. Their communication skills are dynamic and Talon is responding so positively; actually more so than he has with any other therapy group. The focus is on his success! Success in overcoming his obstacles and in life. As a therapist, myself, I highly recommend Thriveworks! Empathy, Compassion, Dynamic abilities in using therapeutic tools and in teaching clients how to use and apply them in life.
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So thankful

★★★★★
So very thankful I chose Thriveworks and Kara Kays. Our time together was very helpful, and I made great progress. BDT was not like anything I’ve done before. Old way was to talk about the past and what made me who I am, new way is what is happening today, how can I be effective in my relationships today. Loved the learning tools, and I really clicked with Kara. Great experience
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Excellent, Compassionate Counselor

★★★★★
I have known Jerry Noel for 16 years and worked with him for 13 of those years. He is an excellent counselor who is empathetic and easily bonds with people especially adolescents. After establishing an easy, supportive rapport, Jerry can effectively guide adolescents in choices that benefits their confidence and self-esteem. I highly recommend Jerry to help others improve their mental health and lead productive lives.
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Becky is a great support.

★★★★★
Becky is a very compassionate, supportive and helpful clinical social worker.
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Counseling

★★★★★
I have been working with Katrina for 2 weeks now and she is great. I feel so comfortable with her and she has so much knowledge. She is also very honest.
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Caring Listener

★★★★★
Lisa is a warm, empathetic counselor with great listening skills and helpful guidance.
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Excellent!

★★★★★
Thriveworks provides professional, yet welcoming counseling services that genuinely aid those in need. Lisa is an amazing counselor that is able to combine her knowledge and empathy to help others overcome their adversity. Her experience and therapeutic strategies make it easy to highly recommend her!!
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Exceptional

★★★★★
Becky is truly exceptional. She expresses empathy towards her clients and has great depth and knowledge of various therapeutic strategies.
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Counselor

★★★★★
I can't say enough good things about Julie! Her caring and compassion shine through in everything she does. Her experience and training working with children and adolescents is extensive. I would highly recommend her!
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THRIVEWORKS Colorado Springs

★★★★★
THRIVEWORKS Colorado Springs - a counseling office with professional, caring counselors, a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere, easy appointment availability, insurance acceptance, and help with a great variety of life's challenges. WOW!
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Amazing People

★★★★★
Drew Pierce is a great individual and counselor. SO genuine and personable, look forward to working with him again.
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Good listener

★★★★★
Lisa Smith is a caring, empathetic person. I feel truly heard when I talk to her.
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Caring professional counselor

★★★★★
Sara Mann is a caring, outgoing think outside of the box with great solutions orientated counselor. She is personable, humble, kind and compassionate with a commitment to helping people.
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Quality People

★★★★★
Sara Mann is a quality individual. I have worked with her for years and find her to be one of the most caring and down-to-earth counselors I've ever encountered. Sara has a wealth of knowledge and experience.
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Making an appointment

★☆☆☆☆
I’ve never had a more difficult time just setting up an appointment. The lady who took my call seemed to be very inconvenienced with what I needed. There was hostility in her voice when I asked questions that she obviously deemed as common knowledge. When she finally found a counselor for my needs, and we moved to make an appointment, even though I said I would take time off work, she still seemed very rude with wanting to make an appointment. I read the profiles of many of the counselors, and they seem like wonderful people. But because of my initial contact with attempting to make an appointment, I will not be seeing anyone here.
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Thriveworks Counseling

  • 5410 Powers Center Point Suite #210
    Colorado Springs, CO 80920

  • Mon-Fri:5AM-10PM
    Saturday:5AM-4PM
    Sunday:6AM-3PM

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