Animal-Assisted Therapy has been used by psychologists and therapists for decades, dating back to the early 1900s with Sigmund Freud. Freud began including his dog in psychotherapy sessions, as "he claimed that he was more relaxed when the dog was nearby. However, Freud soon began to notice that the presence of the dog seemed to help patients during their therapy sessions as well. This difference was most marked when Freud was dealing with children or adolescents. It seemed to him that the patients seemed more willing to talk openly when the dog was in the room. They were also more willing to talk about painful issues. The positive results were not limited only to children, but also were seen in adults."1

Animal-Assisted Therapy has been shown to have not only physical health benefits, but also a wide range of mental health benefits, including2:

For Physical Health

  • lowers blood pressure

  • improves cardiovascular health

  • releases endorphins (oxytocin) that have a calming effect

  • diminishes overall physical pain

  • the act of petting produces an automatic relaxation response, reducing the amount of medication some folks need


For Mental Health

  • lifts spirits and lessens depression

  • decreases feelings of isolation and alienation

  • encourages communication

  • provides comfort

  • increases socialization and sense of community

  • reduces boredom

  • decreases anxiety

  • helps children overcome speech and emotional disorders

  • creates motivation for the client to recover faster

  • reduces loneliness

Beginning in August 2018, Pica & Associates added Chomsky at our St. Charles location as a Therapy Dog In-Training. We value the safety and comfort of all of our patients, and have created our Therapy Dog Policy with additional information regarding the use of a Therapy Dog in the office. 

For further questions about the addition of a Therapy Dog to our St. Charles office, feel free to contact Dr. Gluzerman by phone: (630) 549-6497 x 701 or email:


Meet Chomsky!

Hi! My name is Chomsky and I am a German Shepherd. I am a therapy dog-in-training who comes from service and show lines. My dad is a service dog and a competitor in the 2016 World Championship Qualifier and has titles as a Schutzhund IPO3. My mom is a show dog, but also has titles as a Shutzhund IPO2 which is not typical for show dogs. I also have a dog relative who was a therapy dog for the University of Arizona Medical Center. I am currently being trained at home by Love Your K9 and also training at My Bodyguard Dogs.

As you can see from my ears, I am highly alert and intelligent. I am here to help Pica & Associates’ patients open up and relax so they can more easily work through their journeys. Outside of work, I enjoy long walks, running with my mommy so I can burn some of my puppy energy off, and playing fetch and tug of war. I’m also trying to work on not being so attached to my mommy so please be patient with me and do not forget I am still in training. When you see me around the office, please remember to pet me slowly on the back and say hello by rubbing underneath my chin, but first make sure to ask permission.


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