Effects of Therapy Canines on Therapeutic Alliance: A Pilot Study on Client Perceptions
Grueneich, Brea Rachelle
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While Animal Assisted Therapy is a more recent phenomena (Chandler, 2005, p. 5), AAT is quickly becoming an empirically supported treatment for a variety of mental health disorders (Perry, Rubinstein, & Austin, 2012). This study explored how client perceptions of their counselors change when a therapy canine is present in session. There is little research regarding client viewpoints on counselors who partner with therapy canines. Nine participants responded to a quantitative survey that was analyzed through non-parametric means. As was predicted, participants indicated more positive views of their counselors when a therapy canine was included in session. Findings suggest client perceptions of AAT reflected previously made claims by clinicians in the literature.