Program Elements

Holistic Canine Therapy

Ceiba is a loving and highly effective canine therapist! Holistic canine therapy is nothing new. Humans and their dogs have been loving and nurturing each other since the first abandoned wolf puppy was adopted by our ancient foreparents. Our relationship with each other has evolved collectively as two species, and as intimately as Travis and Old Yeller. The only thing new about holistic canine therapy is calling it Holistic Canine Therapy.

Addiction is all about self. Self-absorption, self-pity, self-seeking, self-delusion and self-will are hallmarks of the addict in active addiction. Being with and caring for a dog is a powerful way to shift this focus.

A big part of recovery and healing is learning to live in the present moment, completely experiencing the now. Many people live with regrets about the past, and fearful of the future. Dogs are always in the present. Ceiba role models what living in the moment really means. This includes welcoming new guests, whether in human or canine form. Dundee who joined our resident intern for a period of practical training in drug addiction rehab was welcomed and trained in canine therapy by Ceiba! Dogs never worry about yesterday or are concerned about tomorrow. They are pure love, radiating acceptance and peace. You will grow to love Ceiba, the way she already loves you.


ceiba at serenity vista drug rehab panama

Our chocolate labrador, Ceiba, works wonders. She loves her job. Having a joyous dog around cannot help but pull a sad or upset person out of themselves towards hope and happiness. Having another sentient being to care for and care about is often the start of healing. Many people, hurt by other people, are often distrustful. They often start the healing process by sharing their secrets and pain with our dog, who listens well, and never gives verbal advice or judgement. This is a step towards becoming vulnerable enough to share this pain with the facilitators and the rest of the (human) group.