Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Canine-Assisted Psychotherapy: Finding the Way Back to Our Animal Soul
by Hayen, Cynthia Jacqueline, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2017, 255; 10683316
Abstract (Summary)

This study utilizes a heuristic methodology to seek answers to several questions regarding a depth psychological approach to canine-assisted therapy. First and foremost, the study investigates why canine-assisted therapy is important as a psychotherapeutic modality, and secondly, it seeks to identify the benefits that patients, therapists, and dogs receive from their engagement in such a therapy. The research employed to reach conclusions regarding these questions and others included a complete immersion in the common practice of animal-assisted therapy as well as an exploration into the relevance that the role of nature plays in a psychospiritual connection to a human being’s primal animal self. The writings of C. G. Jung and other depth psychologists were consulted to lay a foundation regarding the deeper meanings of soul, the human relationship to nature, and the place of animals in the human psyche as well as the place of humans in the animal psyche. Insights were gleaned from the researcher’s journey though a personal reconnection with nature, animals, and specifically her dogs as co-practitioners in her private practice. Personal experience, personal inner transitions, and significant dreams are recounted in support of the study’s proposition of a depth psychological perspective on animal-assisted therapies.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Katsky, Patricia
Commitee: Perluss, Elizabeth, van Löben Sels, Robin
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychotherapy
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 79/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Mental health, Counseling Psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Animal-assisted activities, Animal-assisted therapy, Canines, Depth psychology, Dogs, Ecotherapy, Psychotherapy
Publication Number: 10683316
ISBN: 9780355497724
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