Free Will Teaching is a framework that recognises, supports and nurtures every aspect of life by integrating elements from different psychotherapy approaches and applying them to working and living with animals.
FWT uses a mix of well established and cutting edge human therapies, that include both research and theory based evidence, translating them to working with animals. The established elements of good therapy are upheld along with the therapist's ability to understand, apply, and tailor their advice to each individual animal's needs.
Working behind the scenes. Subtle behavioural work not fully registered on a conscious level. Watching this is like watching paint dry! Looking at it, nothing really happens, but there is a huge amount going on to allow the animal's mind to relax and feel safe. This is the beginning of creating trust.
Remaining subtle, but increasing the awareness. The animal knows something is happening, and gives his side of the conversation. My role is to be a silent partner, not actively contribute. I adjust myself for what the animal is communicating, nothing more. I am reinforcing the beginnings of trust.
This is the start of my active involvement in the conversation, where I respond and have an input in the conversation. We learn more about each other. We develop our understanding of each others language, likes, dislikes, personality, abilities, and trust.
We trust each other. We understand each others language and can contribute, listen and respond to each other. We know each other well enough to know how we will each behave in situations, what our responses are most likely to be, and how we manage ourselves.