Therapy Dogs Could Be Helping Lawyers Mediate Divorces

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
From schools to funeral homes, therapy dogs are proving to be an invaluable help in various stressful settings. Now, it seems that we could be seeing canines helping people de-stress during family law mediation.

Numerous studies note the beneficial impact animals can have on a person’s life. Dogs, in particular, are often lauded as the four-legged companions that help their owners to be happier and healthier more than most, which is why they’re usually chosen for the role of service animals. So, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise that pooches proved to be a great support for people going through a divorce as well.

David Paul, a lawyer and a proud owner of a lovely poodle Charlie, published a paper that details how therapy dogs help families deal with some really tough times. When he would take his dog to work with him, he noticed that his clients were doing a better job managing their emotions and dealing with the conflict at hand. And, since family law mediations are usually incredibly hard for both the parties and the mediator, having a furry someone that could promote trust and comfort is a big deal.

His findings indicate that simply having a pooch in the room can make a significant change for the better: couples tend to feel calmer and communicate better in the presence of a four-legged therapist. Paul dubbed this canine-assisted mediation or CAM for short, and, for now, he’s the only legal practitioner that plans on having a pooch as a regular part of his staff.

After getting his study published by the Harvard Negotiation Law Review, the Canadian lawyer is looking to officially train his 13-months old poodle to become a certified therapy dog. This would enable Charlie to help even more people deal with the stress of legal proceedings. After all, can anything be ruff to deal with if you have a cute pooch by your side?

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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