This experimental study examined the effects of companion animal presence on perceptions of an observed psychotherapist. One hundred thirty-three adults (72.2% female; Mage = 38.05 years) participated in an online study which used randomly assigned visual vignettes to elicit responses to a psychotherapist. The vignettes are described as the following: psychotherapist with a dog; with a cat; client touching dog; touching cat, and; no animal present. Respondents evaluated the therapist on various characteristics, and indicated willingness to self-disclose. Overall, participants rated the therapist as more friendly and likable when shown with an animal than without, but self-disclosure was not influenced by animal presence. There was no differential impact of animal type on the outcome measures. Implications for psychotherapy and methodological challenges of the study are discussed.
Mason N McLary
|Publisher||University of Toronto|
|Location of Publication||Toronto, Ontario|
|Department||Applied Psychology and Human Development|
|Cite this work||
Researchers should cite this work as follows: