Have you ever looked deep into the eyes of an animal and felt entirely known? Often, the connections we share with non-human animals represent our safest and most reliable relationships, offering unique and profound opportunities for healing in periods of hardship. This book focuses on research developments, models, and practical applications of human-animal connection and animal-assisted intervention for diverse populations who have experienced trauma. Physiological and psychological trauma are explored across three broad and interconnected domains: 1) child maltreatment and family violence; 2) acute and post-traumatic stress, including military service, war, and developmental trauma; and 3) times of crisis, such as the ever-increasing occurrence of natural disasters, community violence, terrorism, and anticipated or actual grief and loss.
Contributing authors, who include international experts in the fields of trauma and human-animal connection, examine how our relationships with animals can help build resiliency and foster healing to transform trauma. A myriad of animal species and roles, including companion, therapy, and service animals are discussed. Authors also consider how animals are included in a variety of formal and informal models of trauma recovery across the human lifespan, with special attention paid to canine- and equine-assisted interventions and psychotherapy. In addition, authors emphasize the potential impacts to animals who provide trauma-informed services, and discuss how we can respect their participation and implement best practices and ethical standards to ensure their well-being. The reader is offered a comprehensive understanding of the history of research in this field, as well as the latest advancements and areas in need of further or refined investigation. Likewise, authors explore, in depth, emerging practices and methodologies for helping people and communities thrive in the face of traumatic events and their long-term impacts. As animals are important in cultures all over the world, cross-cultural and often overlooked animal-assisted and animal welfare applications are also highlighted throughout the text.
Transforming Trauma is a book that many people have long been waiting for. The outstanding original transdisciplinary essays written by renowned scholars cover a wide array of topics, all of which focus on nonhuman animals' ability to help us learn the importance of forming and maintaining deep, meaningful, and reciprocal relationships with them and other human animals. These range from an analysis of the interpersonal neurobiological implications of connections with other animals to the power of play, just having a good old time with others. There also are informed discussions of the ethical considerations of relationships with nonhumans and the importance of recognizing, appreciating, respecting, and honoring nonhuman sentience and the neurodiversity of these remarkable beings. In an increasingly human-dominated world, this seminal volume deserves a broad global audience.
— Marc Bekoff, author of "Canine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do" and coauthor with Jessica Pierce of "Unleashing Your Dog: A Field Guide to Giving Your Canine Companion the Best Life Possible" and "The Animals' Agenda: Freedom, Compassion, and Coexistence in the Human Age",
"Tedeschi and Jenkins have produced the go-to sourcebook on the role of animal-assisted interventions for children and adults coping with the debilitating effects of psychological trauma. With diverse and engaging contributions from international experts in the field, Transforming Trauma fills an important gap in the AAI/anthrozoology literature, and it does so with considerable insight and compassion, not only for the human victims of trauma, but also for the animals who help them on the road to recovery."
— James A. Serpell, Professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics: University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
"Tedeschi and Jenkins' new book on trauma and AAI is more than a must-have addition to the field. Besides being an extensive compendium of the state of the art and the science behind it, the volume includes serious and refreshing discussions about our responsibilities to the animals involved in AAI and how we can evaluate their welfare. Read this book if you are interested in healing trauma in humans, preventing it in animals, and the science behind AAI. It’s a winner."
— Patricia McConnell PhD & CAAB Emeritus, author of The Education of Will
About the Editors
Philip Tedeschi is the executive director of the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work. Recognized for his expertise in clinical methods for animal-assisted interventions, he is the founder and coordinator of the university’s Animal-Assisted Social Work and Animals and Human Health Professional Development certificate programs. His teaching, research, and scholarship focus on the bioaffiliative connection between people and animals, animal welfare, interpersonal violence and animal cruelty, social ecological justice, One Health, and bioethics.
Molly Anne Jenkins is an affiliated faculty member with the Graduate School of Social Work’s Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver. She previously served as research analyst and human-animal interaction specialist for American Humane Association, where she managed a national and multiyear study on the effects of animal-assisted intervention for children with cancer, their parents, and participating therapy dogs. Her background and primary interests center on human-animal relationships, animal welfare and behavior, veterinary medicine, social and ecological justice, and One Health.