There have been dramatic increases in the financial, emotional, and psychological investment in pets over the past four decades. The increasing importance of animal companions in people's lives has resulted in growing emphasis on the human-animal bond within academic literature. This book introduces practicing and emerging professionals to vital subject matter concerning this growing specialty area by providing an essential framework and information through which to consider the unique contextual backdrop of the human-animal bond. Such contexts include a wide array of themes including: issues of attachment and loss, success and frustration with making and sustaining connections, world views regarding animal ethics, familial history of neglect or abuse, and cultural dynamics that speak to the order of things between mankind and nature. Adopting a contextual stance will aid mental health professionals in appreciating why and how this connection has become a significant part of everyday life for many. As with any other important clinical dynamic, training and preparation are needed to gain competence for professional practice and research. To this end, an ensemble of international experts across the fields of psychology and mental health explore topics that will help both new and established clinicians increase and understanding of the various ways the human-animal bond manifests itself. Perspectives from beyond the scope of psychology and mental health such as anthropology, philosophy, literature, religion, and history are included to provide a sampling of the significant contexts in which the human-animal bond is established. What brings these divergent topics together in a meaningful way is their relevance and centrality to the contextual bonds that underlie the human-animal connection. This text will be a valuable resource that provides opportunities to deepen one's expertise in understanding the psychology of the human-animal bond.
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. 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 upcoming book An International Psychology of Men: Theoretical Advances, Case Studies, and Clinical Innovations, scheduled to be published by Routledge Press in 2010.Guler 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.
Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Date of Publication
Psychology: Professional & General
Place of Publication
New York, NY
Country of Publication
Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
9 black & white tables, biography
Christopher Blazina, David S. Shen-Miller, Guler Boyra