Don’t Let the Job Get To You: Five Ways To Stay Behaviorally and Mentally Healthy – January 2018

Helping people with their pets’ behavior and training problems makes us a member of the helping professions.  Seems obvious, doesn’t it?  The word “help” is in the description of what we do.  But let’s be clear – we are NOT mental health professionals and aren’t qualified to help people with marital conflicts, unresolved grief issues, or problems with parenting their kids.

Because pets are member of the family, it’s almost unavoidable to get drawn into family dynamics, to some degree. By virtue ofthe services we provide, it’s inevitable we are going to encounter times where we either personally feel at fault for what isn’t going right, or our clients try to put that burden on us.

As part of their educational curriculum, mental health professionals are taught how to set boundaries and stay mentally and behaviorally healthy themselves.  It’s certainly not a given that dog trainers, behaviorists, and behavior consultants are taught those skills.  Some of us learn them on our own, through trial and error, and some get advice from colleagues.

Suzanne was lucky enough to take several courses during graduate school from what was then the Marriage and Family Department at Colorado State University, and absorb many more useful lessons from colleagues working in the pet loss support program she helped to co-found.

In this series of articles, we take up the topic of “Don’t Let the Job Get To You: Five Ways To Stay Behaviorally and Mentally Healthy”