Dogs are important members of families and can have a positive impact on mental health and overall quality of life. Over the years, Dr. Abel has discovered a special connection between certain patients and his dogs, Iggy and Lola. For certain patients who struggle with expressing themselves verbally due to a mental health condition, Dr. Abel has noticed that Iggy and Lola's very presence helps facilitate the person's ability to participate in the visit and makes for a more productive experience. While his dogs can no longer join in sessions, Dr. Abel has been known to encourage some of his patients to seek comfort by caring for a dog when feasible.
Music has the power to bridge the gap when people are unable to express themselves. Dr. Abel's "Tuba Psychiatry" involved him playing the instrument along with specific patients, many of whom struggled with day-to-day communication. Tuba Psychiatry was particularly effective at Durham House Long Term Structured Residence.Dr. Abel played for the University of Michigan marching band and is currently a member of the Jenkintown Community Band.