Mac, Lucy, & Olivier

“Canine Therapists”

Anxiety Specialists of Atlanta ‘employ’ several dogs who assist our patients in overcoming their fears. The dogs are owned and trained by our staff to ensure we know their temperament, favorite treats, and doggy tricks, maximizing a very positive and therapeutic experience for anyone who gets to work with them.

Whether its specifically to overcome a dog or animal phobia, to face the fears of germs or contamination fears, to create a more warm and loving therapeutic experience for individuals who struggle social or interpersonally, or to positively distract the person from a “threat” of anxiety that they are working to overcome, our dogs are brought into sessions with patients to facilitate the most effective treatment experience.

These sweet, calm animals love working with our staff and patients, and have helped many to overcome their fears.


Mac is a small cocker spaniel. He has been an important part of the Anxiety Specialists of Atlanta staff for 4 years.  He loves working with people, he loves doggie treats, and given his size and calm temperament, he is an easy dog for any child, teen, or adult to interact with and practice overcoming their dog fears at the very beginning of treatment. Mac is a big sports fan, enjoy licking treats off of kids hands, and will never pass on a bully stick.


Lucy is a golden doodle and with her spots, is also known as a party doodle. She has been an important part of the Anxiety Specialists of Atlanta staff for over a year. She is a female cross-breed between a poodle and a golden retriever. She is very sweet, loves being petted and scratched, laying on her back and having her belly rubbed, and loves rawhides and cookies. Given her size and adorable “big scary teeth,” she would be an ideal dog for someone to work with who is afraid of larger dogs or dogs that seem more likely to “bite” you, though the scariest thing Lucy does is lick. She knows several dog tricks and follows commands very well and if you make best friends with her, she will stand on her hind legs and give you a big hug.


Olivier was a foster dog from Angels Among Us who decided to rescue Dr. Barnes and her family by becoming an adopted family member. Olivier was found as a stray and then brought into the Angels Among Us adoption program. He is a Tibetan Spaniel, a breed that has a very neat background. They were bred by Buddhist monks in Tibet and were companion dogs that were bred to sit with their monks for long periods of meditation. Olivier brings a calm, sweet demeanor to therapy sessions and he’s happy to practice mindfulness and relaxation in any situation!

We are so lucky to have such sweet, calm, and well trained animals to help our patients overcome their fears.  Though they are not in the office all the time, they are happy to join anyone in session upon request and love teaching people that dogs are kind, caring animals who just want to be loved.