Daniëlle (23) tells how her psychosocial service dog changed her life

Safe haven

When Danielle told her psychologists that she was considering a service dog, the reactions were mixed. “At the time, I was at Human Concern, they were very enthusiastic about my idea and they really thought that it could contribute to my recovery process. Other psychologists thought differently. They saw it as a safety behavior, meaning that I would then I would have had to not be confronted with certain situations myself, that I looked for safety outside myself, as it were. There was certainly something in that, but I think that can coexist. Having hair to fall back on and working hard in the meantime to myself.”

To visualize what psychosocial service dogs can mean for people with mental problems, Danielle is working on a documentary on this subject. “We are already filming, but to complete the documentary, we still need some help through our crowdfunding.”

Since Nola has come home, Danielle has a little more peace of mind. “Her presence is very nice. It is just tiring to train so intensively together, but it is absolutely worth it. I hope I don’t need a service dog for the rest of my life, but until I can manage on my own, it’s very valuable that Nola is with me. When I go to a psychologist I am there for an hour, Nola is always with me. Especially at home and outdoors are the places where I need a safe haven, that’s Nola for me.”

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