Sign In

Virtual therapy sessions

April 27, 2020

It is a stressful time for all of us, and everyone is feeling the tension and anxiety that comes with the uncertainty of not knowing when things will improve and return to normal.

During challenging times like these, it is understandable to experience a toll on mental health. Luckily, a therapy dog is hoping to help one virtual therapy session at a time. Ricochet, the golden retriever, is a therapy dog with Pawsitive Teams, a non-profit organization operating in San Diego, California, that trains service dogs for those with disabilities.

More specifically, Ricochet is part of the Canine Inspired Community Reintegration (CICR) program, a partnership between Pawsitive Teams and the Naval Medical Center San Diego.

Now, Ricochet is reporting for duty by providing online therapy sessions via FaceTime for essential workers who need her most.

“Are you a healthcare worker or anyone else feeling anxious, stressed, depressed, scared, overwhelmed or any other unsettling emotion during this Covid-19 pandemic?” a post on Ricochet’s official website asks.

“Do you wish therapy dogs weren’t social distancing so they could provide some comfort? Well, Ricochet does… and she’s teamed up with her Pawsitive Teams Therapy Dog crew to provide virtual canine therapy! ”

According to the website, making eye contact with a dog can reduce anxiety. Even looking at a photo of a dog’s eyes can be soothing.

The site explains that after only 30 to 60 seconds of looking at an image, your brain triggers the release of oxytocin, a hormone known to reduce anxiety and create a sense of calm.

Ricochet is providing virtual therapy sessions for doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, first responders, as well as essential workers and families who have lost a loved one.

“During this time of feeling helpless, the more we share, the more people we can reach and the more helpful we can feel,” a post on Ricochet’s Facebook states.

There is no denying that times are tough right now, and we may forget to consider the mental toll that it is taking on essential workers and healthcare professionals, who are risking their lives to keep the rest of the world safe on a daily basis.

Services such as these allow essential workers to get the assistance they may need to continue on with the fight.

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Former Victoria man’s diabetic alert dog helps him get back to life

    When Luke Hengen’s diabetes worsened in his early twenties, it stripped him of the outdoor activities where the country kid felt at home. Countless wilderness adventures and years of hard-fought football games took a toll on his body, to the point where he could no longer sense when his blood sugar was too high or […]

    Read more

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more