Updated: Aug 30
Zebedee met his new family yesterday, and we couldn't be happier. In the next few months, he and I will document our journey toward certification as a therapy dog team through the AKC Recognized therapy dog organization, Pet Partners. Currently, schoolwork is my job as I am working through Pet Partner's curriculum. In just a few short weeks, Zebby (yes, his adorable nickname) will begin training in the puppy Good Citizen training program; then, he will graduate (hopefully) and move on toward the adult Good Citizen training. Once he has completed his training, we move toward evaluation, where he and I will visit 10-50 different sites (depending on which level of AKC notoriety/status) we wish to reach. After careful evaluations (how he does in different environments, around people, with distractions, etc.) at each site and graduation, Zebby and I will become a national registered therapy dog team.
And to add more to the mix, I am in the final stages of completing my Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. August 11th can't come soon enough! This coming week, I take my National Counselor's Examination (prayers would be welcomed), which ensures I can move forward with licensing with the state of Georgia. Following my exam and graduation, I move into APC status, associate professional counselor, where I completed a two-year residency before becoming fully licensed as an LPC (licensed professional counselor). You're in for the long haul by choosing to earn a master's and working through this process, but I am so grateful for the journey; I'm just pooped and ready to work and not cram for exams!
Amid it all, I have also "fine-tuned" who I counsel. Often counselors are "generalists." Although this is a typical approach, I have found myself drawn to and studying specific issues and populations. This isn't to say, however, that I won't work within other areas; this is so that incoming clients have a clear idea of who I am and what I do. I am now specifying that I work with anxiety and stress-related disorders, including trauma and grief, for adults 21 years and older through a foundational CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) approach that includes a psychoanalytic/psychodynamic perspective (meaning I'm not just CBT and I often look toward our past-it always informs our future!)
Enough about me. I know you're here for the fluff ball. Be sure to follow my website at piperharris.net or my social media (@piperharriscoachingllc or #zebedeethetherapypup ) to follow Zebby's journey. And if you're interested in counseling and are a resident of Georgia, I'd love to talk with you about how we can partner together to find healing and freedom.