Category Archives: Psychiatric

Pavlov’s Dogs | Simply Psychology

So freaking simple. So amazing. This is how it all works.

Like many great scientific advances, Pavlovian conditioning (aka classical conditioning) was discovered accidentally.

During the 1890s Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov was looking at salivation in dogs in response to being fed, when he noticed that his dogs would begin to salivate whenever he entered the room, even when he was not bringing them food. At first this was something of a nuisance (not to mention messy!).

Read more at Pavlov’s Dogs | Simply Psychology

Key Differences Between Classical and Operant Conditioning

Operant Conditioning versus Classical Conditioning. Service Dog Express (SDE) uses both.

Although a basic feature of operant conditioning is reinforcement, classical conditioning relies more on association between stimuli and responses. A second distinction is that much of operant conditioning is based on voluntary behavior, while classical conditioning often involves involuntary reflexive behavior. HOWEVER, although operant conditioning works extremely well, SDE NEVER supports punishment. Withholding praise is NOT the same as punishment. A very important distinction.

Check out more at: Key Differences Between Classical and Operant Conditioning

We are Ayden Wheeler! by Shannon Jarrell-Ivey – GoFundMe

Look at this truly heartbreaking but ultimately beautiful story – unbelievable that such a thing can happen. Thank you to the amazing family that helped Ayden thrive despite everything – and now, we will be doing our best to find him a “best buddy” in a Service Dog! They still could use help with the cost of training – but will go to the ends of the earth to help their son – along with the many other special needs children they have adopted. Ayden is now 8, and coming home for GOOD from his RTC! Ayden will need a medium-sized dog that is as hypoallergenic as possible – perhaps there is some wonderful agency that would consider donating or helping us find this young boy his perfect dog? A “doodle” or standard poodle perhaps? Is there any doubt there are angels among us?

Please help out and donate: We are Ayden Wheeler! by Shannon Jarrell-Ivey – GoFundMe

Capone’s Success Story

The animal rescue world is challenging on the best of days. We see the broken and unwanted of the City of San Antonio on a daily basis. One of the most unforgettable of those days was 5 weeks ago, when Capone walked through our door. He was starving, with patches of hair missing, broken teeth, and his ears jagged and cropped…you won’t believe his transformation…read more at  SAPA – San Antonio Pets Alive | Capone’s Story

Wonderful update from Julianne about “Khan”

A wonderful update from Julianne, whose family adopted “Khan”, (initially named Blanco). Blanco was found as a stray and so many people helped in saving him, getting him veterinary care, and fostering him – and Julianne’s family instantly knew he would be perfect for Julianne, who was at a summer internship at Harvard. Julianne suffers from severe anxiety, an eating disorder, and OCD. Since she has returned from Harvard, after many “Skype” sessions with Khan so he could learn her voice, they have developed a wonderful bond!

Recently, Julianne wrote:

“Hi Laurie! Great news on how Khan’s training is going! I love him SO much! He instantly applies the deep pressure therapy before I sleep, and it helps me get a good night’s rest without nightmares. Last night, he came onto the couch with me and just plopped down right on me! I said, “Khan, you are not a 2 pound baby but u act like it – you are 80 pounds!!

So, I usually go on long walks with him later in the day when it is cool. Sometimes, due to my disabilities, I sort of “space out” during the day. On this particular day, I was spaced out while walking him and I really don’t remember what I do when I’m spaced out – all I know is I was pulled back because a car was coming at us. Khan actually pulled the leash so that I was alerted when the car was coming. He saved my life! I gave him so many treats for his amazing heroic behavior and we went on our way back home.

He is amazing in every way!!!!


From our dear client and friend, Christina

From our dear client and friend, Christina, whose husband, a district attorney who helps sexual assault victims like Christina, organized this walk to raise money for other victims! She writes:

“Thank you to everyone who donated to raise funds for Eric’s Walk A Mile In Her Shoes! Eric and Scott you are my heroes! We were in some of the photos that the Palestine Herald – Press posted! A special thank you to Roxy, my forever companion and source of comfort! Your loyalty amazes me!!”

Roxy, her Service Dog, even did the walk!!

Vietnam Era Veteran and her SD

From our loving trainer, Brenda, who is working with Denise, who is a Vietnam Era Veteran with PTSD due to MST while on active duty, and her SDIT, Sandy.  She is currently in a wheelchair, and sometimes can walk with a cane.  Brenda writes:

At this session, Denise and Sandy nailed down all the basic commands! Sandy was a bit stubborn with learning “down” at first,  but was doing great by the end. We worked a lot on directions working with the wheelchair –right, left, back up, and turn around, so that Sandy knows where to go or be carefully situation when we go out in public for training.

At our next session, we met near the bus stop and took a bus to HEB. We walked around practicing Sandy’s ability to adjust to heeling in next to the wheelchair in all different directions. I am so impressed with how much Sandy has learned since our last session! Denise has been doing great work with her!  Sandy was very patient while Denise and I browsed around HEB, and caught on quickly not to sniff food or people. We went to Jack In the Box to restaurant train. Once we got Sandy under the table, she stayed under and laid down to take a nap while we ate. Sandy does not ever beg for food. When the bus was too tight of a squeeze for Denise to turn around in with the wheelchair on the way home, we discovered that the perfect way for them to board was Denise going in backward, and Sandy following her onto the bus!

Wendy and Capone

From our wonderful trainer, Jackie, who had her initial assessment with new client, Wendy, who unfortunately suffers with Bipolar Disorder 2, Borderline Personality Disorder, anxiety and PTSD. Jackie writes:

“I met with Wendy for the first time to have her Staffordshire Bull Terrier, “Capone”, assessed to be a Service Dog. Capone is wonderful with children, handles the cats well, and is extremely in tune to Wendy’s needs. Capone is a very strong boy that will need some work on his loose-leash walking, but he has already had a good jump start on his basic commands. I am so happy to have Wendy and Capone join as one of the new teams to Service Dog Express!”

Assistance in the Rio Grande Valley and more

This is a message from our exceptionally brilliant and compassionate trainer, Jacqueline (Jackie). Her life’s passion is to help Veterans, and she asked us to post this for all Veterans, especially in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV), if they need help.

I have been a graduate psychologist at the VA down here in the RGV. After working in 3 different VA health care systems, I have seen the great need for Veteran care and have seen both good (actually excellent) and bad ways VAs are run and treatment is provided. It is with an EXTREMELY saddened heart that I can no longer allow myself to provide a lower level of care to Veterans than what they deserve, nor be forced into functioning in a treatment setting that is providing unethical care.

I LOVE my work with Veterans and see such a huge need for this to continue, but as I leave, I also see several other amazing psychologists leaving as well due to the same challenges. I continue to see a need for Behavioral Health Care in the Rio Grande Valley, with Veterans and Civilians alike. After 11 years of schooling and 7 years providing Behavioral Health (BH) Services, I was completing my licensure requirements as a psychologist to provide the highest and most comprehensive options out there, however, despite the need for services in the RGV, I ran into several dead ends for finishing this last piece. However, I am willing to put my own final step on hold to help two communities (Veterans and anyone in the RGV) in need of BH services.

I hold a Masters Level License in the State of Texas that allows me to practice independently (but with some restrictions from what I would have had with my psychologist license and obviously at about 1/3-1/4 of the pay). I am hoping to make some things come together over the next month or two (and will probably be open to picking up random general labor work as my student loans have gone into effect and I incurred debt moving from Idaho to here), but am hoping to offer TeleHealth (similar to Skyping but in a much more secure system) and/or in home therapy/animal assisted-therapy services here in the RGV at hopefully a fraction of the cost of some other places (most likely on an income based sliding scale fee basis) since I will not be accepting insurance and I am wanting to reach a larger population of those in need.

That being said, minus the in-home piece, I am able to offer this TeleHealth service within the scope of my practice anywhere in the state of Texas. I am most wanting to reach Veterans as I know for many, wait times between treatment sessions is 2-3 months in several facilities throughout the state. However, I am also really wanting to service Civilians in the RGV and throughout Texas. I am NOT bilingual unfortunately, but have a considerable amount of understanding of the RGV culture, the Hispanic Culture, and the Texas Hispanic Culture.

For those of you who may know of people who may be able to benefit from this, please feel free to contact me. I will gladly share my extensive training and treatment experience with anyone who requests this, and am hoping to start this as an option for the community within the next two months.

Please contact me at: Jacqueline Kappelman