Courtney is a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) who has been treating adults and adolescents with eating disorders since 2008 after completing her undergraduate education in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise and Dietetics at Virginia Tech, and her Dietetic Internship at The University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, MD. Courtney has worked with patients in inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and outpatient settings. Courtney enjoys working alongside patients as they progress through their recovery and being a consistent source of support to challenge eating disorder thoughts related to food.
Presentation Tail-Waggin’ Treatment: The Role of Certified Therapy Dogs in Recovery
There is something magical about the connection between people and dogs. A dog’s contagious joy and unconditional love make a wonderful addition to any therapy program. The physical and emotional struggles that often accompany eating disorders can seem overwhelming for our patients and family members, and therapy dogs are incredibly valuable in easing that pain and worry,
Trained and certified therapy dogs who are engaging in Animal-Assisted Therapy help in diffusing family conflict, decreasing the tension and anxiety associated with therapeutic challenges, helping with group engagement, entertaining a visiting younger sibling or child, and increasing a patient’s endorphins (good feelings) to balance negative emotions.
This dinner presentation will focus on the data behind therapy dog engagement, real family and patient stories with therapy dogs, and therapy dog demonstrations. Our furry friends will make an appearance throughout the presentation.