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Social Worker Perceptions of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

By Melanie Woolen

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    This research study examines factors that influence a social worker’s willingness to utilize animals in therapy, specifically equine assisted psychotherapy. Equine assisted psychotherapy is an experiential therapy involving horses for the treatment of mental and behavioral health issues. The study uses quantitative data. The sample population is Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) and Masters of Social Work (MSW) students attending a University in Southern California. The participants were provided an electronic selfadministered survey through their University email account. The data collected was analyzed and the results were provided to the University. The results indicate a relationship between several variables, such as previously owning and/or caring for a pet and fondness of animals, however, there are likely other factors that predict the use of equine assisted therapy that were not explored in this study. The results of this study will help raise awareness about equine assisted psychotherapy and the benefits of utilizing this non-traditional treatment.


Mason N McLary

HABRI Central

Date 2017
Pages 53
Publisher California State University - San Bernardino
Location of Publication San Bernardino, California
Department Social Work
Degree Social Work
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal-assisted therapies
  2. Animal roles
  3. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  4. Hippotherapy
  5. Horses
  6. Mammals
  7. Pet ownership
  8. Pets and companion animals
  9. Psychotherapy
  10. Service animals
  11. Social Work
  12. therapy