Source: (2005) Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution. 20: 943-980.

As Andrew Leaser observes, victim-offender mediation occasions significant emotional and psychological stress in participants. There are a number of techniques employed by mediators to manage that stress and the possible conflicts which may arise. Yet, says Leaser, there are stress-management resources not being used by mediators. One is “dog therapy.” It can significantly reduce stress in victim-offender mediation and enhance participant satisfaction in the process and outcome. The advantages of using dogs in therapy is known and practiced in other settings: for example, hospitals, classrooms, rehabilitation centers, prisons, and nursing homes. Leaser contends in this paper for the extension of this techniques to the victim-offender setting. To substantiate this argument, he discusses the emotional and psychological dynamics of victim-offender mediation, and the benefits and practicalities of fusing “dog therapy” and victim-offender mediation.