30 May 2015
I'm stuck (and wonder whether I should be posting this in the "sticky stuff" forum) with my final project in the AAT Certificate Program I'm in. I decided to develop a guide/manual of interventions for use with families of infants & toddlers using a canine co-therapist in private practice, based on attachment theory. The reason I went in this direction is because one of the first assignments was to design lesson plans for working with whichever population we chose, so that we were aware of the intent behind what we were doing. Below is an example (this is what I created). The reason I'm stuck is because the way I do psychotherapy is in the moment with clients. I'm wondering whether anyone doing AAT uses any sort of pre-planned activity to assist clients toward their goals, or whether it's best to conduct AAT in the same manner in which one usually does therapy.
OBJECTIVE: Child will understand basic concepts of resiliency as evidenced by
BACKGROUND & POPULATION : Child's symptoms displayed at beginning of treatment included anger, verbal abuse toward mother and MGM (maternal grandmother), not completing homework, defiance, and conflicting description of family functioning and level of conflict by the daughter. I will be using my own dog for this intervention, a 9-year-old male, neutered Border Collie named Buddy, who has years of experience in bouncing to catch balls and Frisbees, and who is currently finishing a therapy-dog training program.
At mother's weekly follow up session, therapist will inquire as to any changes in child's behavior, verbalizations, or mood, and if so, in what way. At child's follow-up session 2-weeks post-intervention, she will be asked to state 3 attributes of a person who shows resiliency to life's stresses.
30 May 2015
Actually, Pam, I think this is a good place for your post. I have a lot to say but hope that others may jump in first. However, I think this is an appropriate time a place to mention a translation of an article I recently wrote in the Hebrew "Animals and Society" journal dealing with the question of the confusion between the various animal-assisted interventions. It is titled: Order out of Chaos: A Call for Clear and Agreed-Upon Definitions Differentiating between Animal-Assisted Interventions. I am attaching it to this post and I have placed it in the Resources section of this group.
Everyone - what are your reactions to Pam's questions and deliberations?
What are your reactions to my article, which I admit was my way of saying: "Hey, guys, stop trying to blur boundaries. Respect yourselves and what you do, and respect me and what I do. It's NOT the same thing!" It was my attempt to protect AAP from being watered-down and misunderstood.
543 KBClick to download
31 May 2015
Thank you for the article. It speaks to all of the confusion in my head, even after studying AAT in a University program. I was pleased when I began reading Animal Assisted Psychotherapy:Theory, Issues and Practice (2013), simply to hear the words "animal-assisted psychotherapy." There is so much confusion about AAI vs AAT (and now AAP), that, like any field, I think, 'the more you know, the more you know you don't know." Which is good. My example in the first post above is clearly a animal-assisted intervention, but processed with the client via psychotherapeutic methods, and based on that particular cl's tx goals, in order to meet your definition from the "Order Out of Chaos" article posted above: "Therapy is a controlled process involving the setting of therapy goals, the use of techniques appropriate to specific therapy field being employed, and constant evaluation and reevaluation of change" (p. 7).
My dog is the medium, much like a tray of sand and objects, which assists the client in the realization of insight and therefore, healing.
So, Nancy, tell me your thoughts about whether I'm pointing myself in the wrong direction (poring over others' writings is never a waste of time, unless there's a due date!) with deciding to draw up specific interventions for use with families of young children. Also: is citing your paper--in process of publication--permitted?
01 Jun 2015
I want to read this again and respond in more depth - however I empathise with the question - how does one manualse the minute by minute relationship that we use to create change?!
02 Jun 2015
Thanks, Melanie. What I've decided to do is to write up in a more general way (than with specific interventions) the basic model for how I use AAP with IMH (infant mental health) and attachment theory in working with families having young children. So I've got the basic--who the client is (the family unit, & more specifically the relationship between parent/child), a hypothesis about AAP w/ IMH families, safety of child and tx animal, awareness of parties involved in "the dance," inc. dog, development of alternate stories for families (Zilcha-Mano 2013), and then a process for documenting the interventions & family responses as I go along in my practice. This, then, might be able to provide something useful about this work, and Lord knows, maybe others will want to look at it?
02 Jun 2015
article on mother infant attachment and EAI