Nugget is too good to keep all to myself, so in 2014 we completed PetPartners therapy team training. We continue to learn and explore animal assisted therapy, and animal assisted activities and how they benefit the therapy process.
While Nugget is with me every day, you are not required to interact with her or use animal assisted therapy in our work together. If you are afraid, allergic, have religious or cultural reasons to not be in the room with a dog, please let me know so we can come up with options.
My work has included a variety of settings ranging from emergency rooms to domestic violence shelters to working with foster kids, military families, and people who want to change their relationships to drugs, alcohol, or other problem behaviors.
As a young child, my brother, sister, and I would play explorers. While they were fighting off aliens, I was collecting and testing soil and air samples.
I like to knit Doctor Who and Hogwarts scarves, and sew blinky lights into clothing. Knitting brought me back to math. Learning how to solder at a local maker space combined with the need to have a constructive response to living in the Pacific Ring of Fire eventually lead me to get a HAM radio license.
I'd also like you to meet Nugget.
Nugget is my service dog-slash-Falcor. In 2007, my health care providers and I realized that my chronic health condition was not improving in spite of all of our best efforts and it was time to investigate other options.
Nugget and I met in February, 2009 at Brigadoon Service Dogs in Bellingham, Washington. Nugget picked me, and we completed a team training in August, 2009. I got better enough to be back at work, eventually full-time, with Nugget at my side.
More than 15 years of clinical and human services experience.
My name is Robin DeBates. I am licensed to practice as an independent clinical social worker in both Pennsylvania and Washington state. I also have a Child Mental Health Specialist credential from Washington indicating I have additional training and experience working with youth and families.
I never intended to be one of "those" people who told others how to parent their kids without being a parent themselves. It feels very much like working with youth and families chose me. One of the strengths I bring to this work is a clear advocacy for children and youth while supporting caregivers in establishing healthy expectations, boundaries, and behaviors for the whole family.