healing through animal-assisted therapy

Eating disorders are complex, biologically-influenced disorders, often triggered by trauma. Anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating disorder and other types of eating disorders offer an illusory sense of protection—a temporary shield from pain and discomfort. This shield feels like it is protecting us, when in reality, we are being crushed under it’s weight.

To drop the shield means to get uncomfortable, and to engage in the most challenging work of our lives. The work of eating disorder recovery is all about learning how to feel love and pain head-on. Learning how to be a good friend to ourselves. Learning how to distance ourselves from eating disordered thoughts and form a more intimate relationship with our own soul.

Research shows that animals can help us with this vital emotional work, encouraging us to open up and share more truthfully. Petting an animal releases endorphins in the body and decreases stress, while also creating a sense of emotional safety. Learn more about the healing benefits of animals here.

The goal of SoulPaws is to directly combat the shame and isolation so inherent in eating disorders, to create a pack of love and healing that will remind us, even on our worst days, that we are never alone!

monthly workshops

Each SoulPaws Workshop can utilize a variety of service animals, including dogs, puppies, miniature horses, guinea pigs, rabbits, birds, and more. Workshops are offered in-person at the San Diego Humane Society (Gaines Campus), as well as online. Each workshop involves meditation, human-animal connection, journaling on recovery-oriented topics, and optional sharing.


in-person soulpaws workshop dates:

Our February Workshop is canceled for this month. Please stay tuned for dates and exciting changes to SoulPaws workshops in the future!

Where: San Diego Humane Society: 5500 Gaines St. San Diego, CA 92110

To RSVP, email soulpawsbox@gmail.com, with “RSVP” in the subject line!If you are younger than 18-years-old, please bring a guardian to the workshop to sign initial paperwork. We hope to see you there!

online soulpaws workshops:

Online SoulPaws Workshops are similar to the live workshops we offer at the San Diego Humane Society, except you can participate from the comfort in your own home, and with your animal. If you do not have a pet, you can still join in and see the many other participants and their pets online!