At InterMountain Family Services, Cynthia uses Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy, (DBT), and other client-centered approaches.
She believes that people who begin therapy enter into a partnership between themselves and the therapist. It takes a lot of courage to take that first step. You can count on Cynthia to give you the support and encouragement you need to reach your goals.
This mental health protocol recognizes the bond between animals and humans. It acknowledges that emotional healing can occur when a relationship is formed between the two species. What clients learn in AAPT, can then be generalized to help build or strengthen better relationships within their personal and interpersonal lives. Licensed mental health professionals like Cynthia, set up and facilitate the activities that clients and their animal partners engage in to create that change.
Cynthia has been trained to work with dogs in what is called “canine-assisted psychotherapy.” Using this modality, clients “teach” their animal partner, basic obedience, as well as, patience, frustration tolerance, impulse control and mirroring of feelings to help learn how to communicate. They also engage in play therapy, or learn to sit quietly and “read” the dog’s emotions and needs.
During the process of working with animals, talk therapy may also take place. During this process, feelings, behaviors, and patterns are observed and discussed to help clients build skills on the following aspects of their lives:
Dogs like to interact with people. Their natural positive “feedback” makes a person feel rewarded automatically. This helps a client naturally focus while caring for and teaching a dog a new skill.
Additionally, teaching a dog a skill can increase confidence and assertiveness. Dogs likewise mirror moods. They respond negatively to negative emotions, helping the client realize how their behavior can affect others. This encourages clients to naturally modify their behavior so that they could work successfully with the dog.
Clients can also learn a lot from observing a dog’s behavior. Dogs can be stubborn, defiant, playful, or moody. They have varied “pack” dynamics that demonstrate communication skills and roles.
In the process of describing a dog’s emotions and interactions and understanding a dogs “wants” and “feelings”, clients learn about their own family role. They also learn a lot about themselves and their personal communication patterns. Realizing all these characteristics encourages clients to change. It creates growth through corrective therapeutic experiences.
Equine-assisted psychotherapy, (EAPT), is quickly gaining popularity. People who have interacted with horses know that training and caring for them can result in an increased ability to regulate mood. Working with horses can result in the following benefits:
Being large creatures, they can be intimidating. This creates an opportunity for people who have anxiety, fears, phobias, and other issues, to develop confidence through confronting their fear. It also helps improve their communication skills and increase impulse control.
Like humans, horses are also very social and have defined roles within their herds. They prefer the company of their peers while at the same time maintain very distinct personalities, attitudes, and moods. An approach that works for one horse doesn’t mean it will work for another. So clients learn how to become flexible because, they have to treat horses like individuals. This skill can readily be generalized by the client to their personal and interpersonal lives.
There are also times when horses can be stubborn and defiant. In other situations, they are playful and curious, just like people. These varied moods provide vast opportunities for clients to learn how to deal with their own challenging symptoms and problems as well as problems solve issues that arise in the real world.
Horses require clients to work hard. In an era where instant gratification and choosing the easy way is the norm, horses can teach people to physically and mentally exert themselves to be successful. This is a valuable lesson that can be applied to all aspects of one’s life. EAPT teaches boundary setting, problem solving, flexibility, impulse control, confidence and many other skills.
Horses also mirror human body language. If you complain that a horse is stubborn or doesn’t seem to like you, you should realize that the animal is just reflecting your attitude. People can learn a lot about being mindful about their attitude when they work with horses. For more information please see this link; https://www.va.gov/health/newsfeatures/2014/september/reining-in-ptsd-with-equestrian-therapy.asp
Online therapy (a.k.a. e-therapy, e-counseling, teletherapy, or cyber-counseling) is one of the newest developments in mental health at present. Using a secure video format, a therapist or counselor offers psychological advice and support over the internet.
Studies have proven that therapy online is as effective as face to face therapy when it is provided by a licensed practitioner. Cynthia Stocker has been at the cutting edge of this technology and can provide you with online therapy if you prefer.
Schedule a consultation today to learn which animal-assisted therapy would be better for you. She has offices in Salmon and Challis in Idaho to serve your needs. Cynthia works with individuals, couples, children, and families.
Please contact Cynthia at (208) 940-0331 to make arrangements.
Hi I'm Kiel. I am a Canine Co-therapist and I have 6 years of experience teaching people skills. Watch my video right next to this photo! Communication, increasing frustration tolerance, and assertiveness are just some of my areas of expertise!
Hi I'm Caed, Kiel's 1/2 brother. I am also a Canine Co-therapist. I am big and cuddly. I love to come to work and teach how to understand feelings. Patience, tolerance, and being calm are my areas of expertise! I would love to work with you!