The following text and images provide a record of prior offerings.
Llama-assisted therapy involves fun interaction among families, couples, individuals, and children and the llamas at Llama Deara. Llamas teach and model the ethics of community, commitment, family values, self-esteem, concurrent opposing feelings, and boundary setting.
Their communication is gentle, accepting, patient, and sometimes comical. They are curious and joyful creatures and break out into dance and play several times a day.
LAT can be helpful for children or adults who act out or have behavioral issues, and for families addressing issues of boundaries and commitment. A llama has learned how to walk away when appropriate and teaches humans how to do that without losing face. Llamas teach how to be both committed to a community, family, or herd, and also express disagreement. Often services at Llama Deara are organized in the company of the llamas.
Animals can help us to connect with our deepest selves, and in this sense self-care at Llama Deara is achieved through interspecies collaboration. Holistic healing involves our relationships with all creatures, not just our individual selves, and just as Noah invited all species two by two into the ark, so may we work and live interspecifically to balance our society.
The following articles and stories piece together some of the experiences that have led to the Director's understanding of and gratitude for the healing power and instinct of animals, especially llamas. They also describe a respect for the Earth, her self-healing and self-regenerating qualities, and how she can teach us to nurture and bring ourselves into balance.
The first piece is really an article introducing the collaboration of llamas and humans in cospecies healing, a term used by Allen Schoen in his book Kindred Spirits. As a marriage and family therapist, the Director has seen people in the more traditional settings of clinics, hospitals, and schools, as necessary. Over time, we have affected change in the lives of children and their families in these environments. The children and parents who have come to Llama Deara Ranch have shifted palpably in one or two visits. More wants to be written about this and research studies funded so that the prevailing powers of our society, university programs, and the psychological, educational, and mental health communities acknowledge these contributions, and integrate more animal and plant creatures into the education and healing of all life.