x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

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Sabine Poncelet says its important for people to communicate with their pets and learn how to “talk, send and receive feelings”.

Animal communicator Sabine Poncelet with her pet Chihuahua Petzi.Christopher Pike / The National
Animal communicator Sabine Poncelet with her pet Chihuahua Petzi.Christopher Pike / The National

Does your pooch look a little depressed? Is your kitty prone to attacking you, claws unsheathed? What they might need is some therapy and TLC, says Sabine Poncelet, a Dubai-based animal communicator and alternative therapist.

The 42-year-old Belgian, who will lead an all-day animal communication workshop in Dubai on Friday, says it’s important for people to communicate with their pets and learn how to “talk, send and receive feelings”.

These skills, Poncelet explains, are crucial because animals see us as sources of energy. When we are scared or nervous, they feel it.

“Animals are like a sponge, taking in our energy,” she explains. “They respond to our feelings. People can use animal communication in different situations, for instance to know the dislikes and likes of an animal, or to find out the reason behind some undesirable behaviour.”

Growing up in a village surrounded by farms, Poncelet was drawn to animals from a young age and recalls “conversing” with cows and horses on a regular basis.

“Dogs and cats also came to me easily,” she says. “Even the most aggressive animal would be friendly. I could ‘feel’ what they were thinking. But my mother said this was just a figment of my imagination, so I believed her and for a very long time I didn’t use my gift,” she claims.

But the animal whisperer in her refused to be quelled.

In November last year, Poncelet – who has an MA in taxation and spent 15 years working as a finance manager and financial controller in Belgium, Luxembourg and the UAE – decided to pursue her passion full-time. Poncelet now offers a range of energy-healing therapies for animals in Dubai – she is a certified Reiki master, advanced Theta Healer and clinical hypnotherapist.

She is thrilled about putting her special gift to good use and believes her workshop will help pet owners to solve their animal’s behavioural issues – whether fear, aggression or separation anxiety.

“All animals suffer from some amount of emotional stress, not to mention physical illness, but some of them tend to be more sensitive than others,” she says.

How to communicate with your cat

Stressful behaviour in a cat can be connected to the owner’s energy, so Poncelet recommends sitting quietly with your pet (not during mealtimes, when they might be too engrossed to respond).

Then tell your kitty you love her – through thought waves.

“In your mind, repeat how much you love and treasure your cat. They may continue purring, even if you’re not cuddling. Say ‘Do you love me?’ and wait for a response, which usually comes in the form of intense purring, a good face rub against your hands or a lick.”

Of course, says Poncelet, you might need to practise this a few times to actually establish “mind-to-mind” communication. Even if it takes a while or doesn’t seem to be working, “both of you will benefit from this stress-reducing close contact”.

• Sabine Poncelet’s animal communication workshop takes place on Friday in Dubai from 9.30am to 5pm. For more details about the venue and price, visit www.animalreikidubai.com

artslife@thenational.ae