You Had Me at Hello: Ethical Canine Assisted Psychotherapy

Lorraine Wodiska, PhD, CGP, ABPP, FAGPA

October 12th, 2018 9am-12:15pm


Referral Service

3 CEs, 1 of the 3 credit hours meets the MD Licensing Requirement for Laws/Ethics.

University of Maryland Shady Grove, The Camille Kendall Academic Center Room 3230*

Rockville, MD

Online registration is CLOSED. Onsite registration will start at 8:30AM

Workshop Instructional Level: All Levels.

Dr. Wodiska is the co-founder of SCAPE (Society for Canine-Assisted Psychotherapy Excellence). 


This workshop will review basic definitions and necessary specific training in Canine Assisted psychotherapy. We will focus on the ethics specific to this modality. We will review very basic neuroscience and use Stephen Porges' Polyvagal Theory to explain how a dog impacts the individuals' neurobiology and the psychotherapy experience. Examples, benefits, and challenges of this work will be experienced and discussed throughout the workshop. There will be a dog present throughout the workshop to provide members with a real-time experience of this modality. 

This workshop is designed to help you:

  1. Describe the training for therapist and dog teams that are working in a psychotherapy modality;
  2. Detail ethical considerations for therapists, group members, and dogs when using Canine Assisted Psychotherapy;
  3. Describe how dogs impact individual neurobiology and enhance a psychotherapy experience;
  4.  Discuss the benefits and challenges when working with a dog in various psychotherapy modalities. 

Lorraine Wodiska, PhD, ABPP, FAGPA, is in independent private practice in Arlington, VA and has been working with individuals, couples and groups for over thirty years. She taught Basic and Advanced Group at Johns Hopkins for nearly ten years. Dr. Wodiska presents at national meetings almost annually on various topics, including "Teaching Group", "Transgenerational Transmission of Trauma", and "breaking Group Contracts". This year she will chair a panel, "Being a Group Therapist in Time of Political and Social Upheaval: This is Difficult!". 
Dr. Wodiska is interested in Canine Assisted Psychotherapy and her Shih-Tzu, Stella (or Teddy) is present and assists in all individual, couples, and group sessions. They have offer workshops and demonstrations locally, regionally, and nationally on this topic.  With a colleague, she has founded, the Society for Canine Assisted Psychotherapy Excellence (SCAPE). 
She is on the Board and a Fellow of the American Board of Professional Psychology in Group Psychology (ABGP) and is the President for the Mid-Atlantic Group Psychotherapy Society (MAGPS). She is a Fellow in the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA), has served as the Co-Chair of the Open Sessions Committee for many years and is a Board Member. 
* Parking for the event will be in the paid garage for the workshop. Please bring your tickets to the MPA registration desk for Validation.