We live in a world where “I can’t” rules. “I can’t…” is the beginning of a statement in a time when a person feels powerless. It is a means to a lose-lose situation. “I can’t lose weight. I can’t stop drinking. I can’t stop gambling.” This phrase is on the total opposite end of the spectrum from the positive, “I can.”
For Julie Ann Allender, EdD, a can-do attitude is essential to making the most of her approach to therapy. “I teach that no mountain is too high to climb,” she says. Describing herself as having “fought the systems that didn’t work,” Allender developed her therapy techniques by looking at what everyone else was doing—and doing something different. “I have spent 35 years growing, learning, evolving and creating a business,” she explains. That business includes such unique facets as a “simulated tropical garden in the therapy room” as well as animal-assisted therapy offerings.
Animal-assisted therapy—also known as pet therapy—brings a lot of questions to mind. Many people think it means working “on” animals. It is not unusual to have a new patient call and ask if they can schedule an appointment to “fix” their dog or cat.