Title page for ETD etd-06102011-153341

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Scholtz, Sune
Email scholtzsune@gmail.com
URN etd-06102011-153341
Document Title Exploring the use of animal-assisted therapy in educational psychology
Degree MEd
Department Educational Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Dr C Lubbe-De Beer Supervisor
  • case study
  • socio-economically vulnerable child
  • child
  • therapy
  • therapeutic technique
  • animal-assisted therapy
  • educational psychology
  • enterpretivism
  • qualitative research
Date 2011-04-12
Availability unrestricted

The purpose of this study was to explore the use of Animal-Assisted Therapy in Educational Psychology. An empirical study of limited extent was undertaken, which was qualitative by nature and conducted from an interpretivist paradigm. I made use of a therapeutic case, which served as an in-depth case study. Visual data, creative expression, interviews, narrative expression and field notes were employed as data-gathering methods. Data were analysed by means of document analysis. A young boy of 14 years, with whom I have previously worked as a therapist, was the participant in the study.

The findings of the study were, firstly that the use of AAT could enable the attainment of goals in therapy. Implementing AAT as a therapeutic tool provided motivation for participation in therapy from the participant. Secondly the use of an animal (dog) in the therapeutic process promoted the formation of a personal, caring, and emotional relationship with the primary participant. Thirdly, psychological benefits in the use of AAT were revealed by this study, namely the opportunity to promote socialisation, self-esteem, communication, interaction and participation in therapy. Fourthly AAT had a value in working with a socio-economically vulnerable child, addressing several of the needs identified in order to enhance the well-being of the child.

2010, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Scholtz, S 2010, Exploring the use of animal-assisted therapy in educational psychology, MEd dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06102011-153341/ >


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