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A healing relationship: Clients' experiences of the long-term relational significance of the horse in horse assisted psychotherapy
SAPU, Stockholm, Sweden..
Örebro Univ, Dept Law Psychol & Social Work.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Uppsala Univ, Dept Psychol, Uppsala, Sweden..
2017 (English)In: European Journal of Psychotherapy, ISSN 1364-2537, E-ISSN 1469-5901, Vol. 19, no 3, 307-328 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Horse assisted psychotherapy is a type of treatment for mental ill-health in which the client forms a relationship with a horse. Research suggests that the relationship to a horse is very helpful to clients, but how the horse is experienced many years after the end of treatment has not been investigated. The aim of the present study was thus to investigate how former clients from horse assisted psychotherapy experienced the horse several years after treatment was completed. Former clients (n = 5; all females) from one and the same treatment center were interviewed and the data was analyzed with an inductive thematic approach. The analysis showed that many years after completion of treatment, the horses were still remembered as the most important individuals in the informants' lives during the time of treatment. This was captured by the core category 'A healing relationship'. These findings are in line with previous research that found that patients in horse assisted psychotherapy and their family members attributed improvements from treatment to the patients' relationship to the horses, but adds that the clients also keep these views at follow-up several years after termination of treatment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD , 2017. Vol. 19, no 3, 307-328 p.
Keyword [en]
Psychotherapy, horse assisted, human-animal relations, long-term
National Category
Applied Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-335693DOI: 10.1080/13642537.2017.1348375ISI: 000410791700006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-335693DiVA: diva2:1167787
Available from: 2017-12-19 Created: 2017-12-19 Last updated: 2017-12-19Bibliographically approved

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