The Therapeutic Effects Upon Dog Owners Who Interact With Their Dogs in a Mindful Way

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This case study describes the experiences of three individuals who participated in a training program that taught them to work with their dogs in a mindful manner. That is to say, in a way that would help them intentionally pay attention in an open, accepting, and curious way, to the needs, body language, responses, and reactions of their dogs. The ways in which these external experiences led to an awareness of their internal experience are also discussed. The results suggest that this method not only positively influenced the relationship these women had with their dogs, but also enhanced their relationship with others and contributed to their own self-growth and increased happiness. A look at how incorporating the concepts of mindfulness, the use of self-as-a-change-agent, the practice of dog psychology in training, and how each of these affect change in one’s psychological well-being are discussed. In addition, this study describes an approach to understanding how clients can act as their own vehicles of change and resolve existential problems related to self-alienation by viewing the dog as part of nature and finding a reconnection to self and others through a mindful interaction with their dog.

Journal Title

Journal of Humanistic Psychology





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Graduate Psychology and Counseling