Sunday, March 27, 2011

Meet Monty--Yale's Therapy Dog

Yale Law School has made a new addition to their library. His name is Monty and he can now be checked out for 30 minutes intervals by those oh-so-stressed out Yale Law students who are looking for a little bit of therapy. According to the article in the NY Times, dog therapy has been well documents to increase happiness, calmness, as well as general emotional well-being.

As expected, some students are hesitant as to how it will help them deal with their anxiety that goes along with going to Yale, but that does not mean they will not check Monty out for half an hour.

This article made me smile. I have read that horses are useful in therapy, but I have not heard that dogs are. It does not surprise me.

When you look at it, what exactly does a dog offer that is essential to the counseling relationship? Perhaps Rogers’ unconditional positive regard? Exactly. They love you no matter what and don’t care what kind of baggage you bring to the table. Perfect.

If the research tells us that something like this is effective, why not implement this relatively inexpensive form of technique to students at Liberty? What would you think if the next time you walked into the library to see Liberty’s own little Monty staring up at you with a wagging tail? I’d put my books down and take the little guy for a walk.


  1. Hmmm...this is quite interesting. Does this mean you have to clean up after the dog if he goes to the bathroom during your 30 minutes? ;) I have heard law school is quite rigorous, so this may be very helpful for law students to take their minds off of the books for a while and have some fun with the dog. I definitely wouldn't be opposed to Liberty having a dog to rent. I wouldn't be opposed to people using animals in therapy either. They just need to remain in their proper place.
    Although an animal may be able to offer some fulfillment and temporary escape, it does not fulfill like the satisfaction from human interaction. Human interaction also does not fulfill compared to the fulfillment from Christ's love.

  2. I am a firm believer that the therapist's unconditional, positive regard for the client is one of the most important aspects to the counseling relationship. Period. And if a dog can provide that for a human being, though it may not be as powerful as it would be had it come from another human being, then I understand how a dog can be helpful to a client. We can learn from the accepting love that a dog offers and offer it to other humans. That is, after all, very much like how our heavenly Father connects with us.


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