Grief Therapy of the Four-Legged Variety

by L-Johnson

Funeral homes have also welcomed grief therapy dogs into their practice. These specially trained dogs wander into visitation rooms and can sense which people are the most upset and would benefit from a little therapy.

Sometimes during periods of grief, a nonjudgmental, comforting presence can be all it takes to lift someone’s spirits. A grief therapy dog is a specially trained dog that does just that: providing comfort in times of crisis, grief, or even disaster situations. They will offer individual care, emotional support, and compassionate listening to those affected by the loss of a loved one, as well as to responding workers or volunteers.

When tragedy strikes and people are working through their grief, the simple act of petting a dog can give comfort that no words can offer. They offer more than just a warm furry body; many dogs instinctually understand when someone needs comfort and offer it unconditionally. A grief therapy dog can improve therapeutic outcomes with calming effects, brightening of mood and increased motivation. These dogs have provided their care at grief counselling sessions in children’s schools or camps and, more recently, at funeral homes.

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