The title says it all. It’s what I do and it is also the tagline for my business.
I am an animal assisted therapy practitioner and take many different species of animal into psychiatric hospitals, prisons, hospices, care homes etc in order to help those with mental health issues (from paranoid schizophrenia, through depression and self-harm, to autism and dementia) . I am known around the world as a pioneer in my field, using skunks, chinchillas, ferrets, reptiles and insects as well as traditional therapy animals. As such I get many requests from around the world from students and others who want to tap me for advice or work with me or shadow me for their dissertation. I decided that I would write a book and put all of the information that I could into that.
“Unleashing the Healing Power of Animals”
is the resulting book and it takes the reader on an animal assisted journey through the healing power that animals can have on humans and the human/animal bond. Most of my animals are rescue animals, who had issues, have overcome those issues and are now helping others overcome theirs. The book tells the stories of 10 rescue animals (one human and 9 non-human) and goes on to describe how each animal has a different healing quality, why different people choose different species and how each species has a different effect on each mental health condition. From a self-harming chinchilla; through a self-esteem enhancing snake; to a skunk who has inspired a patient in a wheelchair to learn to walk again. There are even millipedes, helping children, with hyper-sensitive skin, to withstand hand holding and hugs. All great stories in themselves, but when combined as a therapy team, the power is amplified.
I have been working in the field of animal assisted therapy for the last 7 years and have helped
literally thousands of people improve their mental health. I have also inspired hundreds of students to follow my path into animal assisted therapy. These are all achievements of which I am very proud, but I am prouder of what my animals have achieved in their time in the field.
The book is designed to be read by anybody who wishes to gain a greater understanding of how animal assisted therapy works and how it can be applied in a therapeutic environment. Whether you are a psychology student just discovering animal assisted therapy or a psychologist wishing to delve more deeply into the healing power of animals; whether you are an occupational therapist wanting to see how animals can be used practically in therapy or an activities co-ordinator looking for a therapeutic activity for your service users, this book is for you.
“Unleashing the Healing Power of Animals” has had good reviews in the press, leading to one Australian reviewer referring to me as “Hugh Lofting’s Dr. Dolittle brought to life” and “The Dr. Dolittle of 2017, is not only healing animals [mentally], he is joining forces with them to help [humans]”. I guess you should decide for yourself, by reading the book!
Unleashing the Healing Power of Animals by Dale Preece-Kelly, is available now, worldwide, from Amazon and all other good book stores.