Dr. Robin Apple, who has a PhD in Clinical and Consulting Psychology, brings her trained therapy dog, Carmel, to work. She's found that dogs can help people with anxiety to explore and become more adventurous.
People with depression can calm down with Carmel and feel gratified by the attention she gives them.
Eye contact and cuddling with dogs can release oxytocin, slow the heart rate, and calm people down which is very helpful when talking about difficult issues. Although Dr. Apple believes canine therapy doesn't replace medication or talk therapy, she says "it's certainly a good addition."
"It's added this other, more humane, element to therapy so it doesn't seem as sterile."