Trauma Resiliency

This Able Veteran produces reliable PTSD service dogs and an effective partnership-building training program. Veterans who graduate from our program leave us with a canine partner they can depend on to help them recognize early symptoms of nightmare, anxiety, anger or depression. The dogs are trained to intervene, to help their veteran partners refocus and to engage in soothing behavior.

We also help our veteran students rely on themselves. Our 3-week Trauma Resiliency Program helps our veteran students understand the mechanics of PTSD, and teaches life-skills and coping mechanisms. We want to empower our veterans suffering from PTSD to take back control of their lives. That’s what this training does.

Topics in our 3-week Trauma Resiliency Program include:

Service dog skills and education

  • How dogs see the world and how that relates to our healing process
  • Why understanding dog behavior helps us understand our own behavior
  • How to enhance the human/canine partnership using Self Awareness skills
  • How to care for and maintain the mental, psychological and physical needs of the dog
  • How to learn to navigate your world with a service dog

Self-knowledge skills

  • Mindfulness skills
  • Emotional education
  • Compassion skills
  • Emotional self-regulation techniques
  • The Work of Byron Katie (Inquiry Based Stress Reduction)

Mindfulness Training

  • How to quiet the critical self-talk
  • How to be in the present moment
  • How to still the “monkey mind”
  • How to be with yourself with kindness and compassion
  • How to pay attention to the senses rather than the thoughts
  • How to become more aware of one’s own energy

Emotions Recognition Education

  • The Default Mode Network
  • Physiology of emotions
  • Emotional scales
  • Recognizing one’s own emotions
  • Recognizing trigger situations
  • Drama Triange (Kauffman)
  • Journaling and art practices

Compassion Skills Training

  • Recognizing our core values
  • Core value practices (self-affirming)
  • Changing our self-narrative
  • Changing relationship narratives and repairing relationships

Emotional Self-Regulation Education

  • Dealing with uncomfortable emotions
  • HeartMath and breathing exercises training
  • Developing tolerance for self and others
  • Meditation training
  • Mindfulness training

The Work of Byron Katie

  • Self- inquiry (Inquiry Based Stress Reduction)= Self-discovery
  • Learn to identify stressful thoughts
  • Ask oneself questions about the stressful thought and find one’s own answers
  • A meditative practice of noticing/mindfulness
  • Develops self-insight
  • Helps identify one’s true wants and needs
  • Develops self-compassion
  • Reduces stress


Behesha Doan, This Able Veteran Executive and Training Director

Behesha is the founder and training director of This Able Veteran and owner of Extreme K-9. Extreme K-9 is a professional dog training business focused on training both working dogs and pets and rehabilitating problem behaviors. Behesha brings a unique perspective to training and communicating with dogs and is a highly sought-after resource for professional trainers seeking to better understand the dogs they train. She and her staff have conducted seminars for and coached professional trainers throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

As a trauma survivor herself, Behesha brings an uncommon insight to how a correctly trained service dog, combined with a trauma resiliency program, can make a difference in the lives of those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injuries and those with co-occurring substance abuse. Through This Able Veteran, she has developed a veteran-centric model of care that involves the veterans, their clinicians, the service dogs and This Able Veteran. This unique model for trauma recovery not only trains dogs but also integrates them into a team of two with their veteran. Only This Able Veteran provides a custom-selected, highly-trained service dog specially adapted to meet the needs of one particular individual. This model of care has proven to be effective where traditional therapies have previously failed.

Behesha is a gifted public speaker, lecturer and published author on the subjects of canine behavior, communication and training.

Her credentials include:

  • Certified Life Coach, specializing in trauma resiliency
  • Member, Institute of Coaching, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School Affiliate
  • Certified Dog Trainer – International Association of Canine Professionals
  • Founder and Training Director of This Able Veteran
    -Contributing Author, PTSD Service Dog Best Practices Paper for Assistance Dogs International
    -Invited Speaker, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, This Able Veteran’s PTSD Service Dogs
  • American Kennel Club CGC Evaluator
  • Approved Instructor – Illinois Law Enforcement Training & Standards Board in:
    • Law Enforcement Narcotic Detection K-9 Certification, Remote Collar Training for K-9 Reliability
    • Police K-9 Unit Tactical Operations
  • Certified:
    • Basic & Advanced Trainers Course, Michael Ellis School of Dog Training, San Francisco, CA
    • Narcotic Detector Dog Trainer, Alpha K-9 Training Center Trainers Course, Jackson, Mississippi
    • Narcotic/Explosive Detector Dog Trainer, Vohne Liche Kennels Certified Trainers Courses (twice), Denver, IN
    • Mantrailing K-9 Trainer, Salem, IL
    • Remote Collar Trainer, Honors Graduate, Las Vegas, NV
  • Licensed by: Illinois Department of Agriculture
  • Administration, State of Illinois – Narcotics Detection Dog Certifier

Kelley Hails, M.D.

Kelley is the veteran training, co-lead. Kelley is a medical doctor, an energy healer, and a certified facilitator of the Work of Byron Katie. Formerly a board-certified emergency physician, medical school faculty, and emergency department director, she trained in mind-body medicine at Harvard Medical School, in Brennan Healing Science at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, and became board-certified in Integrative/Holistic medicine as well.   She is a certified facilitator of The Work of Byron Katie, (Inquiry Based Stress Reduction), and a trainer for the Institute of The Work. Kelley empowers others to find self-healing through skills training and the Work of Byron Katie, a meditative self-inquiry process. She teaches e-classes, leads workshops, and works one-on-one with private clients via Zoom.