Introducing Olaf

Olaf, a registered Pets as Therapy (PAT) dog has been making regular visits to the Approved Premises since the beginning of the summer. Many of the women that we work with experience mental health issues, have low levels of confidence and self-esteem and are dealing with feelings of loss due to being separated from their families, particularly their children. Animals have been used as therapy in many different settings for a number of years. Holisticonline.com states that “Unlike people, with whom our interactions may be quite complex and unpredictable, animals provide a constant source of comfort and focus for attention. Animals bring out our nurturing instinct. They also make us feel safe and unconditionally accepted.”

Residents can choose whether or not to spend time with Olaf and the impact on those that do engage in the sessions has been clear. Members of the staff team have reported seeing women’s faces physically change as they appear to have properly relaxed for the first time since arrival. Feedback from residents has included the following

 

“I got enjoyment, comfort, distraction and fulfilment from Olaf being here and I found it to be very therapeutic.”

 

“I have missed having animal company and enjoying the activity that comes without the pressure of conversation.”

Introducing Olaf