On December 5, from 1-3 p.m. students were encouraged to take a break from studying for finals, stop by Counseling and Psychological Services and play with fun, friendly dogs. It is known that the human-animal bond can relieve stress, anxiety and depression.
In addition to the CAPS’ therapy dog, Bodhi, four certified therapy dogs were available through collaboration with volunteers in the local community.
A total of 131 participants came to the event. As a result of attending this activity, 92 percent shared that they felt less stress and 78 percent felt more energized.
The mission of CAPS Animal-Assisted Therapy program is to provide positive human-animal interactions that will assist in promoting the visibility and approachability of counseling services as well as enhance the brief therapeutic interventions of the center. Seventy-nine percent who attended indicated that they were more likely to utilize services offered by CAPS.
Comments from participants included:
“Please do more events like this. This was lovely!” “It was great! I loved the dogs and they made me feel better.” “I was so pleasantly surprised by how many dogs there were and how much I socialized here.” “I think this was an excellent event and I would love to see it happen again!” “It was fun and uplifting!” “Best program ever!” “Very relaxing.”
For more information on CAPS’ services and programs, visit: caps.sdes.ucf.edu.