Introducing a Canine-Assisted Intervention Programme into Group Psychotherapy for Children and Adolescents in a Greek Hospital Institution. Canine Assisted Intervention Program

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Ioannis Chaniotakis
Evangelos Diamantakos
Evgenia Tetradi
Athanasia Harokopou
Apostolos Koutrias
Efstratios Papageorgiou
Aikaterine Kontarini
Aikaterine Chari
Helias Haralampopoulos


Over the last decades multidisciplinary scientists study the ‘therapeutic value’ of animals. Drawing on the children’s enjoyment and natural connection to animals, psychotherapists utilize this bond that may enormously help to facilitate the management and/or the healing process. Combining an animal-based trans-theoretical approach in therapy, with the symbolic language used by children, appears to increase significantly the ability of the therapists to provide a meaningful experience to the children patients within a given therapeutic environment. The research conducted in this field is limited and not up to date, while it appears to have gaps with regards to the methodologies followed. Based on these points Melampous - the Multidisciplinary Human-Dog Intervention Team of the Healthcare Directorate of the Hellenic Air Force General Staff - collaborated with the Inpatient Clinic of the Department of Psychiatry for Children and Adolescents of the Children's Hospital "Paidon Pentelis" in October 2018 and introduced a canine intervention programme into an open psychotherapy group of children and adolescents, for the very first time in Greece. In this article, we present the methodology that was used in order to design and organize the canine intervention programme mentioned above. There was emerging evidence to suggest that Canine Assisted Intervention programs when introduced into an open psychotherapy group may improve the effects of mental health treatments administered.


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Chaniotakis, I., Diamantakos, E., Tetradi, E., Harokopou, A., Koutrias, A., Papageorgiou, E., Kontarini, A., Chari, A., & Haralampopoulos, H. (2021). Introducing a Canine-Assisted Intervention Programme into Group Psychotherapy for Children and Adolescents in a Greek Hospital Institution.: Canine Assisted Intervention Program. International Journal of Child Development and Mental Health, 9(2), 27–35. Retrieved from
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