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Therapy Program Updates—Spring 2023

Therapy Program Updates—Spring 2023

By Barbara McKown
Therapy Dog Program Manager


Our January Prep School class was full, and several people indicated they are interested in our Goal Directed Therapy programs. The first Therapy Dog Team evaluation was done in early February and seven teams passed the evaluation and will soon be working at different sites!! The Secondary Handler Workshop and the Tricks Workshop are back. Therapy teams that attended really enjoyed the workshops and benefitted from them.

Abraxas and Clairemont High Schools are ongoing programs. Students range from 18 to 22. Teams work on goals set by the staff member. Aces Academy and the Court Dog Program are ongoing. Students at Aces Academy are ages 10 to 21 while Court Program participants are of varied ages. Our teen programs at Winston School, San Diego Center for Children, and New Dawn High School welcomed teams back for their six-week sessions. Students and teams work on group activities and there is a lesson plan for each session. Participants work on rally/obedience activities.

CICR/Bravo Company is our current military program working with active-duty Marines and Sailors for three weekly sessions at Naval Medical Center San Diego.The program is designed to help service members learn how to use the power of dogs in healing from social anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and hypervigilance.

We are very excited to announce the addition of two new sites this year: Rock Springs Elementary School in Escondido, where three therapy teams are partnered with an elementary grade child for a six-week session, and San Diego County Probation department which is a six-week program that will start in the spring with teen-aged program participants. Both programs will have a similar model as the current teen sites.