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Triads in Equine-Assisted Social Work Enhance Therapeutic Relationships with Self-Harming Adolescents
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1134-1535
2017 (English)In: Clinical social work journal, ISSN 0091-1674, E-ISSN 1573-3343, Vol. 45, no 4, p. 320-331Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite an increasing number of studies, thereis still a lack of knowledge about the unique featuresthat underlie the process in equine assisted social work(EASW). This study aimed to reveal, through qualitativemethods, the dyads within the triad that become strongerduring the process of EASW, as well as the effect of theparticipation of the horse on the relationship betweenthe counselor and client. Data were collected through indepthinterviews with nine female self-harming clientsaged 15–21 years and eight staff members. The interviews,together with video-recorded human–horse interactionswith three staff members and four clients were analyzed,resulting in additional issues answered by these three staffmembers and four clients in a second interview. Criticaldialogues between patterns and fragmentations in the narrativesand video-recordings, as well as a dialogue with theparticipants while they were viewing videos of their ownEASW sessions, led to the conclusion that adding a horsequalitatively changes therapeutic relationships in EASW.The different triads consist of different liaisons betweenactors in the triad, giving rise to unique combinations. Thequality of the relationships depends on both the staff andthe clients’ attachment orientations. Further research isneeded to investigate how the degree of emotional connectionto the horse affects the impact that horses have on triadsin EASW.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2017. Vol. 45, no 4, p. 320-331
Keywords [en]
Adolescents · Attachment orientations · Equine-assisted social work, Self-injury, Therapeutic relationship, Triads
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-58246DOI: 10.1007/s10615-016-0613-2ISI: 000415280300004PubMedID: 29187767OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-58246DiVA, id: diva2:1048706
Available from: 2016-11-22 Created: 2016-11-22 Last updated: 2018-01-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Hästunderstött socialt arbete - ett samtalsrum med potentiella möjligheter för ungdomar med självskadebeteenden och deras personal
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hästunderstött socialt arbete - ett samtalsrum med potentiella möjligheter för ungdomar med självskadebeteenden och deras personal
2017 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thesis examines, through qualitative methods, the role of the horse in equine-assisted social work (EASW) as well as what facilitates or constrains the role of the horse. Specifically, should interaction be understood in the same manner regardless of which individuals that participate? The thesis is based on empirical data collected throughinterviews with eight staff members and nine female self-harming clients, aged 15–21 years, in a residential treatment facility. In addition, video recordings of the human-horse interaction of three staff members and four clients were analyzed, resulting in the additional issues addressed in a second interview. Critical dialogues between patterns and fragmentations in the narratives and video-recordings, as well as a dialogue with participants, while they were viewing videos of their own EASW sessions, led to the conclusion that adding a horse could qualitatively change therapeutic relationships. 

The results are presented in four articles that provide an image of the complexity of EASW. The summary chapters focus on a synthesized analysis, based on Goffman’sdramaturgical perspective and Hochschild’s emotional rules in which the concepts were applied: backstage, frontstage, impression management, stigma, emotional management, deep acting and surface acting. The analysis demonstrated that defense mechanisms are reduced when the horse is perceived as non-judgmental and therefore less intimidating. Furthermore, the analysis suggests that it is crucial that the horse is regarded as a subject, a transitional object, which can silence the inner critic and create a ‘moment of silence’ that contradicts stigmas and enablesadolescents to regulate their emotions. This leads to possibilities to be more authentic and the relationship between staff and adolescents to be perceived as more authentic. 

In summary, the work presented in this thesis contributes to increased knowledge about the role of the horse in opposing impression management and surface acting, depending on the high demands on staff to reach outcomes regarding communication, self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-image. The different triads consist of different liaisons, giving rise to unique combinations and the potential to avoid emotional dissonance. The quality of the relationships seems to depend on staff and clients’ attachment orientations. 

Keywords: Authentic, Emotional work, Equine-assisted social work, Impression management, Moment of silence, Self-harming adolescents, Stigmatization

 

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2017. p. 127
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 283/2017
Keywords
Authentic, Emotional work, Equine-assisted social work, Impression management, Moment of silence, Self-harming adolescents, Stigmatization
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-63873 (URN)978-91-88357-70-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-05-31, V159, Stagneliusgatan 14, Kalmar, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-05-19 Created: 2017-05-17 Last updated: 2017-08-16Bibliographically approved

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Carlsson, Catharina

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