Victoria *(Name of client has been changed for confidentiality reasons), a young mother came to Mentis to find healing from trauma and suffering caused by her husband’s abusive behavior. She lived in constant fear of her husband, feeling watched and unsafe at all times. Even after he had been arrested and placed in jail, she still didn’t feel safe in her own home.

She recalls the day police arrived at her home to arrest her husband. Her 6 year old son witnessed it all; he remained confused for a long time.  He constantly asked questions about his father; where was he?  When would he be back? Was he going to make it for his birthday?  Victoria thought it best not to tell him the truth due to his age. During the year after her husband’s arrest, her son became angry, resentful, and even abusive towards her. He blamed his mother for his father being taken away and for not being present in his life; causing her more pain.

Victoria heard about Mentis from a friend and decided to contact us for help. Through initial sessions with her Mentis therapist, it was clear that Victoria was suffering from acute trauma. She began therapy a bit apprehensive, not knowing exactly how to speak about the abuse she had endured. Her therapist used animal assisted therapy as part of Victoria’s healing process. Bringing a trained dog into a therapy session creates an environment that is affectionate, responsive, unconditionally accepting and nonjudgmental. Victoria gradually opened up and felt more comfortable talking about the abuse she experienced and the pain it had caused both her and her children.

During the sessions, her therapist was able to help Victoria overcome her constant fear and increase her self-esteem. She was able to get some help for her son and discuss with him the truth about his father. Now she is on a path to a better life for herself and her children. She has a new job, was able to purchase a car, has more money, a new, safe home and lastly, she no longer has nightmares.