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A look at the role of marriage and family therapy skills within the context of animal behavior therapy

By J. Canino, J. Shaw, A. M. Beck

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Given that veterinary care involves both animal patients and human clients, it becomes necessary to find ways to improve not only one's veterinary medical skills, but also one's interpersonal abilities. Literature that discusses the communication and interpersonal aspects of veterinary medicine is neither widely available nor current; therefore, this article draws parallels from the systemic field of marriage and family therapy (particularly, emotionally focused therapy) to provide updated recommendations to improve the professional relationship between the veterinary behavior team and their human clients. An introduction with background information about the veterinary behavior team and of marriage and family therapists is included. Additionally, the similarities between the 2 fields regarding the mechanisms of the change process (i.e., of creating positive associations), the methodology of obtaining information from clients, the challenges and barriers with human clientele, and the common presenting problems are examined, with examples from both fields provided.

Date 2007
Publication Title Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research
Volume 2
Issue 1
Pages 15-22
ISBN/ISSN 1558-7878
DOI 10.1016/j.jveb.2006.12.005
Language English
Author Address RVT, Purdue University, VCS/Lynn, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Communication
  3. customers
  4. Family
  5. Marriage
  6. peer-reviewed
  7. Pets and companion animals
  8. Psychotherapy
  9. social anthropology
  10. Social psychology and social anthropology
  11. Veterinarians
  12. Veterinary medicine
  1. peer-reviewed