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Capturing the essence of canine animal-assisted therapy in counseling: A phenomenological inquiry of at-risk youths' experiences of a residential canine animal-assisted therapy program

By Amber Rae Bach-Gorman

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Abstract

Phenomenological inquiry was implemented to capture the experiences of nine at-risk youths' unique and shared experiences of a canine animal-assisted therapy in counseling (AAT-C) program at a therapeutic working ranch (TWR) in the mid-western United States. Five females, and four males ranging in ages between 14 -- 17 years participated in individual interviews and reflective journaling. In addition, field observations of the canine AAT-C group sessions were conducted on six separate occasions over a period of six months. Horizonalization of the research data was conducted, resulting in four themes that describe a complex and multi-dimensional phenomenon. Themes include: (a) a rippling effect on relational patterns across intrapersonal, interpersonal, and therapeutic domains, (b) cross-dimensional identification and realization of skill attainment, (c) therapeutic factors unique to the presence of a dog, (d) building and expansion of one's community. A discussion of the relationship with existing literature about canine AAT-C and implications for counseling is addressed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

ISBN/ISSN 0419-4217978-1321753790
Publisher ProQuest Information & Learning
Notes Accession Number: 2016-26521-095. Other Journal Title: Dissertation Abstracts International. Partial author list: First Author & Affiliation: Bach-Gorman, Amber Rae; North Dakota State University, Counselor Education and Supervision, US. Release Date: 20160829. Publication Type: Dissertation Abstract (0400). Format Covered: Electronic. Document Type: Dissertation. Dissertation Number: AAI3703501. ISBN: 978-1321753790. Language: English. Major Descriptor: Animal Assisted Therapy; At Risk Populations; Counseling. Minor Descriptor: Dogs. Classification: Health & Mental Health Treatment & Prevention (3300); General Psychology (2100). Population: Human (10); Male (30); Female (40). Location: US. Age Group: Adolescence (13-17 yrs) (200). Methodology: Empirical Study; Interview; Quantitative Study.
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Tags
  1. Animal-assisted therapies
  2. At risk
  3. Canine
  4. Counseling
  5. Dogs