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Could Your Cat Be a Therapist?

Could Your Cat Be a Therapist?

Sometimes it seems as though our pets really understand how we’re feeling. They cuddle with us when we’re feeling down, and they never interrupt when we just need someone to listen. Yet, could a cat ever be qualified as a licensed psychotherapist?

One man set out to prove that it was not only possible, it was actually laughably simple.

Psychologist Steve Eichel, frustrated by the number of mental health practitioners using unmerited credentials, decided to see how hard it would be for his cat, Zoe, to get certified. First up for Zoe D. Katze: a certification whose only requirement was to pay a fee. That first certificate made it a breeze to get a few more.

With several certifications under their belts (or collars), Eichel and Katze moved on to something a little more reputable: board certification from the American Psychotherapy Association. They met a bit of a hurdle after applying to the APA when asked for a curriculum vitae from Dr. Katze. Undeterred, Eichel whipped up a resume, including such experience as working at the “Tacayllaermi Friends School” (“I’m really a cat” spelled backwards). The CV was accepted, and Zoe D. Katze was made a Diplomate. Zoe was now officially a Certified Hypnotherapist and Board Certified Psychotherapist. All without a day in the classroom. Whew.

With her newfound acclaim, Zoe D. Katze, Ph.D., C.Ht., DAPA, started receiving emails, including one from “a reporter from a major magazine [who] wrote to ‘Dr. Zoe D. Katze’ for input on an article she was writing on hypnosis for childbirthing. She had stumbled across Dr. Zoe’s name on the American Association of Professional Hypnotherapists’ website. I had to tell her the truth,” wrote Dr. Eichel.

At that point the cat was out of the bag, so to speak, and Eichel had proven his point. When you’re looking for a (human) psychotherapist: “Licenses, certifications and graduate degrees do not guarantee a competent hypnotist/therapist, but they are a good start.” (If you’re looking for a non-human therapist, nutritionist, or business professional, there are many to choose from. Plus, check out Dr. Zoe’s facebook page, where you can see photos of her and some of her degrees.)

Related:
Are Pets More Trustworthy Than People?
7 Animals Smarter Than Humans
How Pets Raise Spirits and Improve Health

Read more: Cats, Conscious Consumer, Do Good, Humor & Inspiration, Mental Wellness, Pets

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Samantha Shook

Samantha is an editor and writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is an animal lover who is also passionate about beauty, psychology, spirituality, and art.

84 comments

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1:26AM PDT on May 29, 2012

lol @ photo

1:08PM PST on Mar 1, 2012

living with cats is already a therapy itself! :) they are my only reason to go to work everyday!!!!

6:10AM PST on Feb 23, 2012

He probably already is!

9:03PM PST on Jan 19, 2012

WauMiaow... Any pet can be a therapist!:))

10:50AM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

Petting our cat and listening to him purr helps lower our blood pressure.

4:06PM PDT on Sep 27, 2011

Very funny!

12:27PM PST on Mar 11, 2011

owning a cat is a form of therpy in itself. you learn patience, tolerance, respect and how to give and recieve unselfish love.
everyone should own a pet if not a cat.

2:26PM PST on Feb 12, 2011

got a bemused look now!

10:47AM PST on Feb 7, 2011

I couldn't help laughing! Now, seriously... I think that what we actually need is a sympathetic ear, and many pay through the nose. Best thing is to have good friends, who will always be there for you. If human friends are not available, why not animals, man's - and woman's - best friends.

8:00PM PST on Feb 4, 2011

Wow, this is scary. But right now I could use some of Dr. Zoe's therapy right now. My personal therapists are still living 4 hours away with my parents till my husband and I can afford the pet deposit of our new apartment.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Forwarded to those who need to see this and are interested. Thanks for posting

This is a great book on the history of hygene. " The Dirt on Clean." It's a great read.

Else G. Else G.
on Are You TOO Clean?
8 minutes ago
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