How Animals Help Couples Communicate

by drlazarus on January 31, 2018

Dr. Lazarus sees many couples for therapy in Littleton. While each couple is different, most present with one overarching concern: We can’t communicate! Fortunately, there is more to the office in Littleton than couple’s counseling—Zeke the dog assists and helps people to express their feelings and communicate with one another. But how can a therapy dog help you communicate with your partner? Read on to find out more!

Fidget tool. Despite the popularity of fidget spinners in 2017, many people still struggle with a need to fidget with something, especially when the topic of conversation is otherwise tense. A therapy dog will happy sit and be petted, providing an outlet for both partners to fidget and experience sensory stimulation.

Emotional assurance. Therapy dogs, in general, promote calm and relaxation. Since our four-legged friends are non-judgmental and typically very present-focused, they can help humans feel the same way.

Welcome distraction. Sometimes, couples just need distraction. The depths of love you once shared may be disrupted by hatred, anger, jealousy, or resentment, and a pleasant distraction may be the perfect solution to help you feel better.

Nonverbal language. Dogs are experts at nonverbal language because they don’t speak with words. Instead, they are attuned to your body language, tone of voice, eye contact, and positioning. This can help reflect behavior back to the people demonstrating that behavior. For example, a dog who feels threatened by yelling or erratic behavior may move away from someone displaying these behaviors, even if the person does not realize they are doing it. A skilled couple’s therapist in Littleton can help you to interpret these animal communication signs and adjust accordingly.

Children. Animals can reflect the world of children. You and your partner may try to keep your words civil or may even plaster on a fake smile all day, but your children may sense your emotional distress. Like our animal friends, children, especially young children, often pay more attention to body language and unspoken signals. How the therapy dog reacts, particularly to arguments, can signal the same sort of distress for your child.

To start experiencing the benefits of animal assisted couple’s therapy in Highlands Ranch, give Dr. Lazarus a call today. He and Zeke will be happy to happy to help!

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