Adjunct Instructors Molly DePrekel and Alison Leslie
Adjunct faculty enrich the education at the Institute for Human-Animal Connection by bringing real-world practice experience to the classroom.
Adjunct Instructors Molly DePrekel and Alison Leslie, MSW and Animal-Assisted Social Work Certificate '07, apply their experience as animal-assisted intervention practitioners to their teaching in [insert]. DePrekel is a psychologist in private practice at the Midwest Center for Trauma and Hold Your Horses; she has used the unique relationship people have with animals and nature to assist her in therapy for nearly 30 years. Leslie was the first Graduate School of Social Work student to successfully train and graduate with a therapy dog by her side. She runs her own private practice, Positive PAWSibiliites, where she works with youth and families by including animals in a cognitive–behavioral, solution-focused, strength-based program.
Through their consulting practice, Cairns Healing, DePrekel and Leslie work together to help animal-assisted intervention practitioners build deep understanding and respect for their animal partners, with mindful intentionality toward cultivating a collaborative relationship. Consultation can help find strategies that work for all involved in the therapeutic experience, they note. This can include, but is not limited to:
- New intervention ideas or goals for working with a specific population
- Case conceptualization
- Incorporating animal-assisted interventions into specific modalities
- Introducing an animal into a new setting or new population
- Understanding messages from therapy animals, including retirement considerations
- Goal setting and treatment planning
- Group work