Therapists for the Paws For Healing Program

                                           DR. MARY THOMPSON-ROTTIER, LPC, RPT/S – DIRECTOR

Dr. Rottier with Razz, Jenga, and Keegan


Dr. Mary J. Thompson-Rottier, LPC, RPT/S has been instrumental in advancing her community in the field of child psychology and Canine-Assisted Play Therapy (CAPT). She is a licensed counselor and registered play therapist supervisor with nineteen years of clinical experience in a variety of different settings. She currently has private practices in both the states of Georgia and Michigan with an emphasis on providing counseling services to children, adolescents, and their families.

Dr. Thompson-Rottier worked in the state mental health system for five years devoting much of her career to changing the approaches, quality of care, and interventions used in the state mental health setting. She was the Director of the facility and her experience ranged from supervising other clinicians, collaborating with community partners, providing counseling services to both adults and children, and providing crisis stabilization services to clients in need. Dr. Thompson-Rottier began hosting trainings focused on child psychology for Georgia Southern University, local offices of the Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS), the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), the Association got Play Therapy (APT), and volunteer programs with the Red Cross and the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program. She has also taught psychology courses at Georgia Southern University.

Dr. Thompson-Rottier has created a reputation in her community for specializing in the counseling needs of abused and neglected children. She began specific training in play therapy techniques that took her across the country. She has attended trainings with some of the biggest advocates and proponents of play therapy including Dr. Garry Landreth at the Center for Play Therapy in Texas and Dr. Helen Benedict, an expert in attachment disorders. She obtained the necessary training and supervision in the field which led her to acquire the status of a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (RPT/S) with the Association for Play Therapy, Inc. (APT). She sees children as having the ability to use play as a means to communicate their needs, fears, and psychological issues. The value of play in Dr. Thompson-Rottier’s work is the cornerstone to her therapeutic approach as well as the use of therapy dogs in psychotherapy.

Dr. Thompson-Rottier is currently the director of the Pawsitive Counseling Center, a private practice that specializes in providing canine-assisted play therapy and counseling services to children, adolescents, and their families. She is a Board Member of the South Georgia Association for Play Therapy (SGAPT), a founding member of several volunteer therapy dog programs, and a member of West Michigan Therapy Dogs (WMTD). Dr. Thompson-Rottier is an approved Evaluator with the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen® program. This program is designed for dogs of all breeds, including mixed breeds, to develop and demonstrate good behavior at home and in the community. She is also an evaluator for Therapy Pets Unlimited (TPU) and has been an approved evaluator for Therapy Dog International, Inc. If you believe your dog has met the requirements for the CGC or TPU program, you may make arrangements for your dog to be evaluated by contacting Dr. Thompson-Rottier.

Dr. Thompson-Rottier has also helped to develop a volunteer therapy dog group in her community called Pawsitive Connections. This program offers therapy dog visits to a variety of settings including nursing homes, hospitals, hospice, schools, and the Reading to Rover program at the local library. Dr. Thompson-Rottier has trained multiple play therapy dogs in her practice. She is also an affiliate of the International Society for Anthrozoology and the Association for Play Therapy. She is responsible for the Paws for Healing program which offers training programs in Canine-Assisted Therapy. She also completed the first controlled study involving the use of canines in play therapy and is planning ongoing research in the field. She has presented on the subject of CAPT both nationally and internationally and has written several articles in the field.

Rottier Biography CAPT





Fisher is a 2 year old Shetland Sheepdog.  Fisher is currently in training to become a therapy dog here in Michigan.  Fisher loves to play with tennis balls and loves treats. Fisher has passed his Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test.  Fisher currently is competing for his AKC and UKC titles in Conformation and is starting to train for Agility.  Fisher has been coming to the Michigan Office since he was 8 weeks old.  When he is not working, he enjoys playing outside and playing with Jenga.


Jenga is a fourteen year old Shetland Sheepdog. Jenga is a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and has been an active member of Therapy Dog International (TDI) and is currently a registered therapy dog through Delta Society’s Pet Partners Program. She is a phenomenal agility dog with lots of speed, drive, and determination. She had to take about six months off for maternity leave as she had four beautiful puppies, several of which have become therapy dogs as well. She is a United Kennel Club (UKC) Breed Grand Champion and Agility Champion. She also competes in Rally Obedience and obtained the Rally Novice Title (RN) before she turned a year old. Jenga has been working with livestock since she was 12 weeks of age and earned the Herding Instinct Title (HI) before she was one year old. Her biggest contributions have been in the therapy dog world. She has made hundreds of volunteer visits to hospitals, reading programs, school programs, and nursing homes. She has also worked in the Paws for Healing Program since she was 8 weeks old.


Razz is a retired Shetland Sheepdog. He is an American Kennel Club (AKC) Breed Champion and United Kennel Club (UKC) Grand Champion. Razz is a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and an active member of Therapy Dog International (TDI). In fact, he was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Title (TDIOA) in recognition of the many visits he has made to local nursing homes, libraries, and schools. He has worked with hundreds of adults and children in therapeutic settings over the years. He has also earned over 20 obedience and agility titles. He was the star of Dr. Thompson-Rottier’s study on Canine-Assisted Play Therapy which later went on to be published by the American Counseling Association. Unfortunately, Razz went to the Rainbow Bridge in 2008.



Keegan Plays in the playroom

Keegan a retired Shetland Sheepdog. He enjoyed working with children especially when fetch was the chosen activity. Keegan is a Canine Good Citizen (CGC), a registered therapy dog through Delta Society’s Pet Partners Program, an agility Champion, and a United Kennel Club (UKC) Breed Grand Champion. He also earned multiple other obedience and breed titles. Keegan also enjoyed working with livestock and earned the Herding Instinct Title (HI) on three separate occasions. Unfortunately, Keegan went to the Rainbow Bridge in 2014.



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