Bishop, Jennifer Murdock

Committee Member

Helm, Heather

Committee Member

Rings, Jeffrey

Committee Member

Ku, Heng-Yu


College of Education and Behavior Sciences; Department of Applied Psychology and Counselor Education, Counselor Education


University of Northern Colorado

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Greeley, (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



299 pages

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Born digital


Animal-assisted interventions (AAIs) have been discussed in recent conceptual literature as having potential for positive implications when applied in supervision (Chandler, 2017; Jackson, 2020; Owenby, 2017; Stewart et al., 2015). However, there was limited empirical foundation or guidance for the integration of two distinct specializations (AAIs and supervision). The purpose of this qualitative collective case study (Stake, 2006) was to explore and understand the experiences of supervisors who have been implementing AAIs within the context of supervision. Specifically, this study addressed the following overarching research question and two sub-questions were addressed: Q1 Why are supervisors integrating AAIs into supervision? Q1a What are the experiences of supervisors who have been integrating AAIs into supervision? Q1b How are supervisors integrating AAIs into clinical supervision? Three doctoral-level counseling professionals with extensive training and experience in AAIs participated, representing three cases of animal-assisted interventions in supervision (AAI-S). Participants had been practicing AAI-S between 7 and 10 years. Two cases existed within university-based, graduate-level AAI training programs and one case existed in the context of a private-practice. Five sources of data were collected for each participant (demographic questionnaire, professional documents [e.g., informed consent, supervisory disclosure statement], multiple interviews per participant [average of six hours per participant], which included a virtual tour of the AAI-S environment and introductions to animal partners). Data were analyzed using thematic analysis within and across cases (Braun & Clarke, 2009, 2021). Cross-case analysis suggested themes related to need for supportive context for implementation of AAI-S, professionals’ personal experiences associated with AAIs, common guiding frameworks for understanding the process of AAI-S, welfare and competency concerns, and the compelling rationale for AAI-S. The final report presented the findings as a holistic account of AAI-S. Based on the findings of this study, implications recommendations for counselor educators, supervisors, and professionals were provided as well as directions for future research.

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