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The Pets in My Practice


Who knew animals could be so helpful in psychotherapy?

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I would like to support Joseph Burgo. What a breath of fresh air. I trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the Menninger Foundation. I was a professor at the Yale University Medical School Dept of Psychiatry. In neither of these prestigious institutions did I hear a word about warmth and caring for your patient. In all fields of psychotherapy there are a few practitioners who are outstanding, irrespective of their theoretical approach. I believe the common denominator is what I call a state of communion, in which the patient feels safe, cared about, and in contact with their helper, beyond words. This opens the mind to change toxic beliefs and emotional states. It’s what every child needs, especially in the first five years of life. Communion seems something similar to what we call love, within the security and consistency of professional boundaries.   I supervise many therapists and directors of training programs. The ones who are outstanding all have discovered that what I have just described is true.

Harvey R. Wasserman, MD

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