Research on resilience indicates that good relationships are critical to developing resiliency. However, most studies focus on human relationships to the exclusion of the natural world. Walking and engaging with the therapy dogs and creating a story-stick will demonstrate the value of including the more-than-human realm in cultivating natural resilience.
Straja Linder King holds a private practice at the Strawberry Moon Studio. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Lethbridge, an artist, author, and animal-assistance specialist. Straja designed the first open art therapy studio in western Canada in a hospital. Twillow and Tala work with Straja in expressive arts and bereavement. Straja has taught and supervised art therapy and animal-assisted therapy for over 10 years at both graduate and undergraduate levels.
Afsheadeh (Affy) Abbasnezhad holds a master of architecture degree from Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, Iran. As a professional working artist and children’s book illustrator, Affy has exhibited her works across Canada. Currently she is working in photography and assists clinical art therapist, Straja Linder King in merging art therapy with animal-assisted therapies. Affy continues to exhibit her works across Canada (Affyart.com) as she pursues further art therapy studies.