Kate Nicoll, LCSW, RPT & Emmett, Pet Partner therapy dog – Founder
Kate brings to Soul Friends more than 30 years of clinical experience working with families coping with grief, trauma and illness. Kate earned her MSW from Smith College and her BSW from Elms College; as well, she completed a graduate certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy and Education from DePaul University. Kate’s extensive mental health experience includes work with inpatient medical and psychiatric hospitals, children’s clinic, private practice, homecare agencies and hospice. She has presented across the country on the power of body-centered psychotherapy and animal assisted interventions for children.
She has specialized in working with children with severe trauma and grief – and has partnered with community agencies and the state in adding the comfort of an animal partner to specific treatment plans. Over the past 16 years, Kate has created five group curriculum based programs for children that has consistently demonstrated through outcome measures and research positive benefits for children including : increased eye contact for children with autism and ADHD; increased hopefulness for children living with trauma and improved peer relationships for teens.
As the principal investigator of a year long humane education study, Kate and her partners demonstrated the benefits of adding therapy animals in a classroom setting in a published journal article in Society and Animals. Kate is the author of Soul Friends: Finding Healing with Animals and A Therapy Dog at Work and Play; Teaching Children about Body Clues. Kate is a member of EAGALA, and a certified Level 2 Practitioner. In the year 2008-2009, she was selected to be a Annie E. Casey Foundation Nonprofit Leadership Foundation to assist in her vision to bring Soul Friends, Inc to all the children in need of Connecticut.