Unique Nonprofit Shares the Healing Power of the Paw by Shannon Kopp

With Adopt a Shelter Dog Month just underway, a unique nonprofit organization, SoulPaws Recovery Project, was thrilled to share it’s message about the healing power of the paw in PEOPLE Magazine! 

Logo Courtesy of Shannon Kopp

SoulPaws utilizes rescue dogs and therapy animals (dogs, puppies, miniature horses, guinea pigs, rabbits, rats, and more) to help women overcome food and body issues. The nonprofit provides free online and in-person animal-assisted therapy workshops—designed to combat the shame and secrecy so inherent in eating disorders. Live workshops are held monthly by trained facilitators, who are licensed therapists, social workers, or marriage and family therapist interns. Journaling, meditation, sharing on recovery oriented topics, and one-on-one time with the animals are a part of each workshop experience.

Studies show that time spent with animals not only improves our physical health, but our mental and emotional well-being. “The lack of judgment, lack of expectations, nonverbal interaction, sensory engagement through touch, evident behavior of the animal, and restorative/fun experience are elements that have made the human-animal interaction qualitatively different from human interactions,” says SoulPaws Executive Board Member, Dr. Patricia Flaherty Fischette, Ph.D.

soulpaws participant and therapy dog. Photo Courtesy of Shannon Kopp

SoulPaws Founder, Shannon Kopp, shared with PEOPLE: “Eating disorders are often described as a disease of disconnection. The goal of SoulPaws is to not only help the participants connect with animals and each other, but to experience freedom from their eating disorder and a reunion with their true, authentic selves.”
In late November, SoulPaws will be teaming up with Recovery Warriors to offer their biggest online animal-assisted therapy workshop yet at the FoodBodyLove Rally.
To learn more about SoulPaws, visit www.soulpawsrecovery.org.

Soulpaws therapy dog photo courtesy of Shannon Kopp

About SoulPaws: SoulPaws, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, offers unique and evidence-based animal-assisted therapy experiences designed for people impacted by mental health issues. With every workshop, SoulPaws aims to decrease shame, increase compassion, and inspire courage. Offered in-person and online, our workshops are led by SoulPaws trained facilitators. SoulPaws utilizes a variety of therapy animals, including dogs, miniature horses, guinea pigs, rabbits, rats, and more. In simply being themselves, SoulPaws therapy animals serve as guides to compassion, mindfulness, and emotional vulnerability.