Furry Friends Help Families Find Healing

Here at The Center for Family Safety and Healing (TCFSH), our goal is to break the cycle of family violence and restore hope. We do that by providing services to children and families that address all aspects of family violence, including child abuse and neglect, teen dating abuse, domestic violence and elder abuse. Among these services, we offer a variety of child and family counseling through Nationwide Children’s Hospital Big Lots Behavioral Health Services.

The most common therapy option we offer through our Family Support Program is Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT). The goals of TFCBT are to process the trauma, reduce risk of re-victimization and to teach skills that help increase a child’s ability to be assertive, social and participate in extra-curricular activities. This type of therapy is widely supported because it does work and focuses on the child as well as the parent/caregiver and how they can best support the child moving forward.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of what we do, it’s time to let you in on something special that takes place beyond our main lobby doors. Here’s a hint: these special guests are furry, friendly, and bring many smiles to our clients, families and staff. If you guessed dogs, you are correct! Cassie, 3, and Crosby, 6, are local Golden Doodle therapy dogs that visit our Family Support Program clients during therapy sessions. Their warm and calming presence provides a different way of support and healing to clients.

Cassie and her handler, Jean, visit us on Wednesday mornings. Many times, Jean will bring Cassie up to our administrative area on the second floor, where she receives many smiles, pets, treats and priase from staff members. Jean also takes Cassie to interact with families in our main lobby, while they are waiting for appointments. Cassie received her therapy dog certification in August 2017.

We get a back-to-back, double-dose of doodles each week! Crosby and his handler, Susan, visit us the following day, Thursday. Crosby began his visits as a certified therapy dog at TCFSH in April 2016.

Cassie, Crosby and their handlers are welcome additions each week. These playful pups bring so much joy to our building, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We feel very lucky to have them volunteer their time and energy. They play a truly important role in healing and restoring hope for our clients and families.

Finally, we’ll leave you with a couple photos of our wonderful, tail-wagging additions:

This is Cassie, getting loved on by our administrative staff.

And here is a great shot of Crosby, relaxing in the grass with his beloved tennis ball.

And while we’re at it, we can’t forget to mention the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office therapy dog, Mattis K-Nine. The one-year-old golden lab visits us with his handler and partner, Deputy Metz, just to say hi about once a month. Mattis is available on an as-needed basis for clients. In March 2016, Mattis came to his new home in the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and is honored to serve his community. He receives ongoing love and support via social media. Don’t fur-get to follow him on Facebook and on Twitter, @MattisK9.

Mattis joined us for our first-ever “Where’s The Line?” fundraiser in October 2017 at Germain Lexus of Easton.

And here, he’s being a good boy for a treat at TCFSH.

Thank you for bringing so much joy and healing to our community!

If you are interested in learning more about therapy dogs and certifications, please visit Therapy Dogs International (TDI): https://www.tdi-dog.org/About.aspx 

To learn more about family therapy options at TCFSH, please visit http://familysafetyandhealing.org/programs-and-services/counseling-services/child-and-family-counseling/.


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2 responses to “Furry Friends Help Families Find Healing

  1. Cory J. Ring

    I agree, the Furry Friends that help out around TCFSH are the best. They always put a smile on your face and so kind to our patients, families, and staff. We wouldn’t be the same without Cassie and Crosby.

  2. Connie Iguchi

    I’m sure these “nonjudgmental ” visitors bring a sense of comfort and of being loved to all their “patients”. After all that’s what dogs do best! What a great way to work with kids and families! God bless you all

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