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Since the domestication of dogs and cats thousands of years ago, the connection between humans and animals has been complex and evolving.Today, it is a significant area of psychological study, and of practice in areas as diverse as animal-assisted therapy and pet bereavement counseling. The Psychology of the Human-Animal Bond offers a contextual framework for understanding the dynamics of this elemental relationship, both in the larger society and on the client level. An international panel of scholars and clinicians from across psychology (as well as from philosophy, literature, and other disciplines outside mental health) explores topics that will help professionals deepen their understanding of the human-animal relationship, translate this insight to practice, and consider questions of identity, attachment, and ethics.
In topics ranging from the universal (health benefits of pet ownership) to the timely (the exploitation of fighting dogs), the reader gains perspective on the numerous factors that influence the bond between humans and animals, and the ways in which the bond reflects our own challenges as humans. Key areas of coverage include:
- Cultural and contextual issues
- Psychological aspects of attachment and well-being
- Bereavement, loss, and disenfranchised grief
- Animal rights, abuse, and neglect
- Tests, measurements, current research issues,and future directions.
The Psychology of the Human-Animal Bond fills a unique and vital niche, and will be of great interest and practical use to psychologists, clinical social workers, and rehabilitation professionals such as physical and occupational therapists.
Introduction: Using Context to Inform Clinical Practice and Research
PART I: Contextual and Cultural Issues
Chapter 1. British Animal Behavior Studies in the Twentieth Century: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Chapter 2. History of Animal Ethics in Western Culture
Chapter 3. Ecosystemic and Cultural Impacts of Animal Introduction into Human Society in North America
Chapter 4. Predator/Prey Relationships: What Humans Can Learn from Horses About Being Whole
Chapter 5. Lap-Dogs and Moral Shepherd's Dogs: Canine and Paid Female Companions in Nineteenth Century English Literature
PART II: Psychological Issues of Attachment
Chapter 6. Self Psychology and the Human-Animal Bond: An Overview
Chapter 7. Attachment Between Man and Animal: What Does It Mean?
Chapter 8. A Developmental Psychological Perspective on the Human-Animal Bond
Chapter 9. Understanding the AAT Rx: Applications of AAI in Clinical Practice
Chapter 10. Attachment Style and Grief: An Internal Working Model Guiding Reactions to the Loss of a Pet Companion
PART III: Positive Sway on Psychological Well-Being and Recovery from Illness
Chapter 11. How Family Pets Keep Us Happier and Healthier: An Attachment Perspective on the Human-Animal Bond
Chapter 12. Pet Ownership and Health
PART IV: Bereavement, Loss, and Disenfranchised Grief
Chapter 13. Family-Present Euthanasia: Protocols for Planning and Preparing Clients
Chapter 14. Pet Loss
Chapter 15. Death of a Companion Animal: Understanding Human Responses to Bereavement
PART V: Animal Rights, Abuse, and Neglect
Chapter 16. Urbanization and Animal Cruelty: What Role Does Utilitarianism Play?
Chapter 17. Broken Bonds: Understanding the Experience of Pet Abandonment
Chapter 18. Children and Adolescents who are Kind to Animals
Chapter 19. Sentimentality in the Animal Rights Movement
Chapter 20. Abusing the Human-Animal Bond: On the Making of Fighting Dogs
Chapter 21. A Triad of Family Violence: Examining the Overlap in the Abuse of Children, Partners, and Pets
PART VI: Tests, Measurements, and Current Research Issues
Chapter 22. Qualitative Directions in Human-Animal Companion Research
Chapter 23. The Pet Attitude Scale
Chapter 24. Human Animal Research: Challenges and Future Directions
Christopher Blazina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist, researcher, and professor of psychology. He received his doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of North Texas. He has been a faculty member at the University of Houston and Tennessee State University, training graduate students to become counselors and psychologists. Currently, he is a professor of psychology at Tennessee State University. The author of more than thirty articles and three books, Dr. Blazina has presented his recent research on the human-animal bond at conferences that include the American Psychological Association.
Güler Boyraz, Ph.D. received her doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Memphis. She is an assistant professor of counseling psychology at Tennessee State University. Her research focuses on attachment and loss, psychological resilience in the face of adverse life events, and gender roles and relationships across different cultures. In addition to the research awards she received during her doctoral training, she was awarded the Burl Gilliland Award for an outstanding doctoral student for two years in a row. She has published journal and newsletter articles, technical reports, and more than 25 peer-reviewed presentations.
David S. Shen-Miller, Ph.D. received his doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Oregon. He is an assistant professor at Tennessee State University in the counseling psychology program and also engages in individual, couples, and group counseling and psychological testing. He has authored peer reviewed articles, book chapters, and more than 30 regional, national, and international presentations. He is a co-editor with Dr. Chris Blazina on the book An International Psychology of Men: Theoretical Advances, Case Studies, and Clinical Innovations.