Today we are exploring the healing power of connecting with animals. You have probably heard of programs in hospitals and nursing homes where animals, typically dogs, are brought in to interact with patients. The human-animal engagement has been found to be highly beneficial for many people and can help combat depression, anxiety and loneliness. Dogs are also employed at some airports to help reduce anxiety in passengers who are afraid to fly. But human-animal interaction can also be a form of therapy for dealing with significant trauma such as PTSD. And, what is not discussed as frequently is that the benefits of the interaction can help heal animals of trauma as much as it does humans.
Our guest today is Dr. Genie Joseph, the Executive Director of The Human-Animal Connection, a US non-profit organization dedicated to changing the way humanity relates to animals. Her organization brings people and therapy animals together for the benefit of both. They offer a variety of therapy programs including free therapy dog visits to veterans, Active Duty, Health Care Providers, and anyone experiencing stress in the field of Service to Others. They also provide educational classes and zoom sessions to help people deepen their connection to animals, increase empathy, and facilitate cross-species communication. One of them is the Canines Teach Compassion which s a program for high school students that combines social skills and resilience training with animal interaction.
Genie is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, an author, a dog trainer and consultant on relationships between people and animals, and as you will hear a very dynamic speaker. She is the creator of The Act Resilient Method of therapy which works with therapy animals. She authored a book on the subject called The Act Resilient Method. She has presented using that method to over 4,000 Service Members and their families, and for her work, she received a Volunteer Service Award from then President Barack Obama. Her team at Tripler Army Medical Center was given a National Award for Workplace Resilience from the American Psychological Association. Her latest endeavour is her new book entitled The Human Animal Connection: Deepening Relationships with Animals and Ourselves.
In this episode, Genie will discuss the benefits of connection between people and animals for both, her work with service personnel, high school students and rescue animals, her own rescue dog Sophia, and how we can all improve our interactions with our pets. And much more!
Website links: https://thehumananimalconnection.org
Social Media links:
Other Mentioned Links:
HABRI: Human Animal Bond Research Institute. https://habri.org
The Canine Campus Connection book. https://www.amazon.com/Canine-Campus-Connection-Students-Directions-Human-Animal/dp/1612496482