Title of Presentation

Session I: Attachment Dynamics in Human-Animal Relationships

Presenter Information

Sarah SchloteFollow

Sub-theme

Practice

Keywords

attachment theory, human-animal bond, co-regulation, emotional contagion

Start Date

13-10-2018 9:00 AM

End Date

13-10-2018 10:15 AM

Abstract

All mammals have a nervous system that regulates stress and an innate drive towards attachment and connection. Not surprisingly, understanding attachment dynamics is a core component of trauma therapy and couples therapy, and is fundamental to improving relationships and communication patterns in humans. But what about between people and their pets, or for humans involved in animal-related professions? Can an understanding of attachment dynamics and past trauma improve our understanding of conflict, problem behaviours, miscommunications and when things go well between humans and animals?

While there is considerably less research on this subject, inter-species attachment dynamics has started to gain attention as an area of study, and stands to hold many practical principles for improving animal welfare in a variety of areas.

This presentation will introduce participants to attachment theory and the components of secure attachment, including safe haven, secure base, proximity seeking and separation distress. The adverse experiences and personality factors that contribute to insecure attachment patterns in humans and animals will be examined, as will the challenges that arise when these dynamics go unaddressed. The concepts of emotional contagion and co-regulation will be discussed, human expectations of animals, as well as the importance of human self-regulation, self-awareness, and attunement in relationships with pets or when working with other people and animals together. A review of relevant studies and suggestions for further research will be provided.

BIO:

Sarah Schlote, MA, RP, CCC, SEP is a registered psychotherapist, trauma therapist and Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner who has been involved in the field of animal-assisted interventions since 2003. A former St. John Ambulance Therapy Dogs volunteer, her main focus now is partnering with horses. She is the founder of EQUUSOMA™, a training model integrating Somatic Experiencing®, attachment theory and equine-assisted trauma recovery, and has recently launched Therapist-Assisted Horsemanship™, bringing emotional intelligence and body awareness to improving the relationship between owners and their horses. She is passionate about the integration of trauma-informed care principles in equine-assisted practice.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Oct 13th, 9:00 AM Oct 13th, 10:15 AM

Session I: Attachment Dynamics in Human-Animal Relationships

All mammals have a nervous system that regulates stress and an innate drive towards attachment and connection. Not surprisingly, understanding attachment dynamics is a core component of trauma therapy and couples therapy, and is fundamental to improving relationships and communication patterns in humans. But what about between people and their pets, or for humans involved in animal-related professions? Can an understanding of attachment dynamics and past trauma improve our understanding of conflict, problem behaviours, miscommunications and when things go well between humans and animals?

While there is considerably less research on this subject, inter-species attachment dynamics has started to gain attention as an area of study, and stands to hold many practical principles for improving animal welfare in a variety of areas.

This presentation will introduce participants to attachment theory and the components of secure attachment, including safe haven, secure base, proximity seeking and separation distress. The adverse experiences and personality factors that contribute to insecure attachment patterns in humans and animals will be examined, as will the challenges that arise when these dynamics go unaddressed. The concepts of emotional contagion and co-regulation will be discussed, human expectations of animals, as well as the importance of human self-regulation, self-awareness, and attunement in relationships with pets or when working with other people and animals together. A review of relevant studies and suggestions for further research will be provided.

BIO:

Sarah Schlote, MA, RP, CCC, SEP is a registered psychotherapist, trauma therapist and Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner who has been involved in the field of animal-assisted interventions since 2003. A former St. John Ambulance Therapy Dogs volunteer, her main focus now is partnering with horses. She is the founder of EQUUSOMA™, a training model integrating Somatic Experiencing®, attachment theory and equine-assisted trauma recovery, and has recently launched Therapist-Assisted Horsemanship™, bringing emotional intelligence and body awareness to improving the relationship between owners and their horses. She is passionate about the integration of trauma-informed care principles in equine-assisted practice.