Brighton and Hove Wellbeing Service

Canine-Assisted Therapy (age 10+)

Canine-Assisted Therapy for children & young people in Brighton & Hove, provided by YMCA DownsLink Group and the Wellbeing Service.

The CYP (Children and Young People) part of the Wellbeing Service is delivered by YMCA DownsLink Group.

What is Canine-assisted Therapy?

Canine-assisted therapy uses a dog to promote health and healing. Like other animals, dogs are accepting, comforting and non-judgmental, making them ideal therapy companions.

Canine-assisted therapy works in a similar way to face to face counselling. It can support people who are feeling low, anxious or stressed to understand more about how they are feeling, identify any causes for their feelings and make plans to cope and feel better.

The main difference is that this work happens with a dog in the room which can help young people who are anxious about counselling or may struggle to talk about how they are feeling. They are able to interact with the dog and the therapist can process this experience with the young person and gain insights in to their feelings.

Who is it for?

Children and young people aged 12-25 with mild to moderate mental health presentations such as low mood, that would benefit from a counselling approach but may feel anxious about engaging in this support, or who struggle to build 1-1 connections.