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Transforming Trauma: Resilience and Healing Through Our Connections With Animals

By Philip Tedeschi, Molly Anne Jenkins

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Have you ever looked deep into the eyes of an animal and felt entirely known? Often, the connections we share with non-human animals represent our safest and most reliable relationships, offering unique and profound opportunities for healing in periods of hardship. This book focuses on research developments, models, and practical applications of human-animal connection and animal-assisted intervention for diverse populations who have experienced trauma. Physiological and psychological trauma are explored across three broad and interconnected domains: 1) child maltreatment and family violence; 2) acute and post-traumatic stress, including military service, war, and developmental trauma; and 3) times of crisis, such as the ever-increasing occurrence of natural disasters, community violence, terrorism, and anticipated or actual grief and loss. Contributing authors, who include international experts in the fields of trauma and human-animal connection, examine how our relationships with animals can help build resiliency and foster healing to transform trauma. A myriad of animal species and roles, including companion, therapy, and service animals are discussed. Authors also consider how animals are included in a variety of formal and informal models of trauma recovery across the human lifespan, with special attention paid to canine- and equine-assisted interventions and psychotherapy. In addition, authors emphasize the potential impacts to animals who provide trauma-informed services, and discuss how we can respect their participation and implement best practices and ethical standards to ensure their well-being. The reader is offered a comprehensive understanding of the history of research in this field, as well as the latest advancements and areas in need of further or refined investigation. Likewise, authors explore, in depth, emerging practices and methodologies for helping people and communities thrive in the face of traumatic events and their long-term impacts. As animals are important in cultures all over the world, cross-cultural and often overlooked animal-assisted and animal welfare applications are also highlighted throughout the text.    


Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Date 2019
Pages 510
Series Title New Directions in the Human-Animal Bond
ISBN/ISSN 9781557538505
Publisher Purdue University Press
URL https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/purduepress_ebooks/44/
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Abuse
  2. Animal-assisted activities
  3. Animal-assisted interventions
  4. connections
  5. Ethics
  6. Grief
  7. Human-animal bond
  8. open access
  9. Physiological Stress
  10. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  11. trauma
  1. open access