I Know This by Heart –Keiki

Here’s why I am the best therapist at Life Design Centre: because I listen. Don’t get me wrong — it’s not that the other therapists aren’t good listeners — they are amazing. But I cannot talk, so I listen very well by default. I have a clear advantage over the others—except maybe for the opposable thumbs. I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. I never interrupt. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another’s conversations constantly. If you really listen to someone you can feel what they feel. So much of what people say is unspoken…

Being a therapy dog is quite a privilege. Sometimes I work with adults that have lost their “fur children” and are a deeply grieving. The loss of a pet can have a profound effect on a person’s life. I often work with tactilely defensive children that have been hurt or abused in ways that are hard for a dog to imagine. Or sometimes people just have a hard time sharing their feelings so it helps when they pet me. I like to see the change in their faces after a few minutes of being with me. Touch as a form of connecting can be very healing. I understand that trust is very precious and I have learned it takes time.

Aside from working with the concepts of Pawsitive Psychology in therapy, the book, Your Dog is Your Mirror, highly influences my work. The author, Kevin Behan, describes a core feature of how dogs and humans connect—by heart. In quite a profoundly beautiful way, he illustrates how a dog’s behavior and even their cognitive process is highly influenced by the emotions of their owners. In other words, dogs reflect how their owner feels by mirroring their emotional states. The author states, “When two beings want the same thing they can communicate. When two beings want the same thing that neither can attain on their own, they connect.” This concept is one of the most fundamental things you will learn in therapy at Life Design Centre: how to communicate and how to connect.

Life with dogs reminds you to remain in your emotional present experience. They are a reflection of you—a mirror into your own psyche. They help you understand that unresolved emotions become internalized and stored in your body as a stress response. Your level of unresolved emotion often inhibits your ability to positively cope with problems in your life.

When you know something by heart it has become a part of you. There is a form of intelligence that has nothing to do with thinking, but rather everything to do with feeling. My canine friends and I really understand this. Trying to make a heart to heart connection is tantamount to finding your emotional center of gravity. Let your heart be born. Let it connect with others. You don’t have to go through this alone. I will sit and stay if you ask me to.

Del Mar | West Los Angeles | 877.361.2551 | info@lifedesigncentre.com