My name is Caroline Vetter and I am a 23-year-old graduate student training to become a clinical psychologist. I grew up in Florida where I attended Florida State University. During my years at FSU I was headed toward a career in animal training and conservation. I studied Psychology and Biology with the intention of using it in animal behavior work. I spent summers interning with bottlenose dolphins, white rhinoceroses and elephants and I volunteered at a cheetah and wild dog conservation center in South Africa. I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with animals, but felt that I could make a greater positive change in the world by helping people improve their own lives. After graduating from FSU in 2009 I found myself contemplating my future in wildlife conservation. I searched for a while trying to find a career working with animals that aligned with me. I ended up doing another internship at Southeastern Guide Dogs, which was a turning point for me. I realized that what I really wanted to do was to combine helping animals and people in the form of animal assisted therapy.
I got in to the graduate school program of my dreams and took the plunge. I packed up all my things and moved to California with my Yorkshire Terrier Sasha. I currently attend the Wright Institute in Berkeley where I am working toward a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. I am constantly forming ideas around animal assisted therapy, play therapy and women’s studies. I am also very interested in incorporating mindfulness practice and Buddhist thought into psychotherapy. I am gaining therapy experience through yearly practicum; presently I work at a middle school counseling students. I have also had experience working with and helping children and young adults through other volunteer work. As a Girl Scout I achieved my Gold Award through a project at Brookwood, a group home for troubled adolescent girls, and then assisted in art therapy sessions with the girls. I enjoy doing art in my free time and think that art therapy can be very effective.
I aspire to write books one day and Harry Potter is my all time favorite series. I do yoga and enjoy adventures. I have traveled extensively throughout the world, including China, Europe, Peru, the Bahamas and South Africa. I have been swimming with wild dolphins in Bimini and snorkeling with a whale shark in Mozambique. I have walked along the Great Wall of China and floated down the Li River on a bamboo raft. In Peru I hiked to Machu Picchu and walked through the treetops in the Amazon. I hope to continue travelling and exploring new cultures. I am an avid equestrian. I have owned, cared for, trained and competed with several horses over the past sixteen years. Throughout my life I have had many life-changing experiences that have made me who I am today. I am a very adventurous person and I have never been afraid to step outside of my comfort zone. I have always been very sociable and outgoing. I look forward to my future in psychotherapy and I hope to make strides incorporating animal assisted therapy into mainstream practice.