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Attachment Theory and an Equine Prison-Based Animal Program: A Case Study

By Maris Loeffler

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This counseling project examines the issue of recidivism and the need to realign the current system of retribution in favor of rehabilitative services in the United States prison system. Theoretically, this project reviews attachment theory as developed by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth and ties the central constructs inherent to attachment theory to equine-assisted prison-based programs. Support and evidence of animal-assisted interventions as agents of healing and psychological growth is found in connection between theory and practice in the case study involving the selected hypothetical inmate, Robert. Robert explores his traumatic past using attachment theory based personal therapy sessions in conjunction with working with the horses through the prison-based animal program. Dialogue exchanges in therapy elucidated how Robert’s attachment to the horses and with his therapist developed. The resulting progression and insight building abilities he acquires may serve as preventative measures with respect to re-offense after release.

Date 2016
Pages 93
ISBN/ISSN 9781339502960
Publisher Saint Mary's College of California
Department School of Education
Degree M.A.
Language English
University Saint Mary's College of California
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal-assisted therapies
  2. Attachment behavior
  3. Counseling Psychology
  4. Criminology
  5. Horses
  6. open access
  7. prison-based animal programs
  8. Psychiatry and psychology
  9. recidivism
  10. Rehabilitation
  11. Social sciences
  1. open access