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Therapeutic Pups

Therapeutic Pups is an animal-assisted therapy (AAT) or “pet therapy” service provided at Children’s National Medical Center. Therapeutic Pups started in 2010 in the outpatient Eating Disorders Clinic  when the clinic’s director began using a dog, (Murphy, a Bichon Frise) in her psychotherapy with adolescents with anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Clinic patients range from ages nine to nineteen and parents are involved actively in the evaluation and treatment process.

The Eating Disorders Clinic is a program within the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, which is part of the Diana and Stephen Goldberg Center for Community Pediatric Health.

Please Note: Therapeutic Pups does not offer therapy dog training or certification.

 About Therapeutic Pups
Therapeutic Pups integrates animal assisted therapy into the psychotherapeutic work with adolescent eating disorder patients. There is no separate charge for this service.
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Meet Murphy
Our current therapeutic pup is Murphy, a one and a half-year-old Bichon Frise. He has received extensive training and has achieved his Canine Good Citizen award through the American Kennel Club. Other pluses are that he is hypoallergenic and does not shed.
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Helpful Resources
Find out more about Animal-Assisted Therapy, related conferences and organizations.
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You can also find out more by reading stories from patients, families and clinicians.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to questions asked about the Therapeutic pups program.
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Contact Us
For questions related to the Program, including donations.
Read more here

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