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This lecture is a continuation of the material presented in Selecting and Training Service Dogs for Mental Illness Part I. In Part II, we will discuss essential public access skills, and tasks appropriate to mitigate some mental illness symptoms. We will also offer caveats about the risks posed by training some tasks that are less appropriate for mitigating symptoms. For example, if the handler is unconscious, in a dissociative state, or having a psychotic break, or for other reasons unable to speak in their own best interest, some trained tasks may require that the dog “take charge”. Such an expectation may be unfair to the dog, unethical, and or put the dog in danger. Learning Objectives: Why add a service dog to a treatment team? Will a dog mitigate symptoms better than a handler’s prior coping skills? Why a service dog should not be introduced soon after diagnosis. Why service dogs should not be “protection trained”. When should programs place dogs? Essential Public Access Skills:Resting out of the way in crowded restaurants, at concerts, in meetings, etc.; Negotiating buses, trains, and planes; Working in crowds; and Tasks to Mitigate Mental Health Disabilities: Tasks to Mitigate Mental Health Disabilities, Sustained eye contact, Deep pressure therapy, Presence during painful medical procedures, Maintaining handler’s personal boundaries without any show of aggression, Sound localization, Leading handler to safety, Alerts as a back-up for self-care personal responsibility, Interrupting self-harming behaviors, Turning on lights and premises search, Balance and mobility assistance, and Specialized retrieve skills.
Sponsor:E-Training for Dogs, Inc
Speaker(s):Cissy Stamm and Barbara Handelman M.Ed., CDBC
Contact: Cheryl Lynne Aguiar