UnLtd has awarded a Level 1 Award to innovative new West Midlands-based CIC HumAnima, a social enterprise providing a professional humanistic counselling and Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) service to individuals and organisations in the local area.
Kathryn Kimbley, HumAnima CIC’s Director and Counsellor, has always been passionate about animals and when deciding on a career path, was unsure how she could combine her love of animals together with her desire to help people. Animal Assisted Therapy allowed her to do both.
Kathryn has been able to make her dream a reality thanks to the generous support of UnLtd.
Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is an approach that has developed over the years as a result of professionals recognising the inherent value and benefits associated with interacting with animals. Research has shown that the presence of animals can have a calming or de-stressing effect on people. It has also been suggested that including animals in therapy may serve as a buffer and divert attention from a situation which could make a client extremely anxious.
Kathryn says, “It is important to remember that no two people are the same. One in four of us will experience mental illness at some point in our lives. This might take form in many different ways such as depression, anxiety or general stress but we may not notice that something is wrong until things aren’t going in quite the same way as we had hoped.”
Kathryn uses her four-year old English Cocker Spaniel, Flossie, in her therapy sessions. She is a very even tempered and well trained Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog, which means that she has passed an assessment which has recognised her as being suitable for therapeutic visits to different public locations such as schools, hospitals or residential homes.
The last few years have been spent setting up the business, developing the services that will be on offer and continuing research to help ensure the business is a success.
There’s a lovely picture of Flossie (the dog!) mid-bath here on Kathryn’s blog.
info <at> humanima <dot> co <dot> uk