MS236 – Assistance Animal Partnerships: psychological perspectives in practice

£397.00 (+VAT)

12 months access to recordings and course materials is included. Please note that these are webinar recordings and not live events. Full details on how to access the Mini Series will be emailed to you.

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Thousands of people with additional needs within The UK rely on assistance animals to offer practical support with activities of daily living, emotional support and independence. Understanding the relationship between a person and their assistance animal is fundamental within relationship-centred veterinary care. This understanding can help clients feel comfortable coming to clinic, support engagement and adherence with treatment, to ensure optimal patient care. In the first session of this mini-series case study examples illustrate the difference between an assistance and emotional support animal; the role of medical assistance dogs will also be highlighted. Attachment Theory (Bowlby, 1991) will be introduced as a model for understanding person-assistance animal relationships, highlighting considerations for veterinary practice. In the second session the distinct role of emotional support animals in different contexts will be explored with further case examples, incorporating psychological theory to further support understanding of potential implications for veterinary practice. In the concluding session relationship-centred care will be introduced as a way of developing partnerships in care with clients with additional needs and their assistance and emotional support animals. Compassionate communication skills will be introduced and special considerations for supporting owners of assistance animals through bereavement and loss discussed.

  • Join Susan Dawson for three 2-hour online sessions
  • Comprehensive notes to downloaded
  • Self-assessment quizzes to ‘release’ your 8 hours CPD certification (don’t worry, you can take them more than once if you don’t quite hit the mark first time)
  • A whole year’s access to recorded sessions for reviewing key points
  • Superb value for money – learn without travelling
  • Watch the recordings on your iPad!



Session 1

Understanding the person-assistance animal relationship

Learning objectives:

  • Explain and explore the differences between an assistance animal (including medical assistance dogs) and emotional support animals (ESA).
  • Identify different types of assistance animals and their contexts, including case studies of assistance animal partnerships.
  • Introduce Attachment Theory as model for understanding person-assistance animal relationships.
  • Implications for veterinary practice.
Session 2

Emotional Support animals and mental health

Learning objectives:

  • Develop understanding of what an emotional support animal is and how this is different to a pet/companion animal.
  • Explore the types of mental health difficulties emotional support animals may help with, including case study examples.
  • Psychological understandings of the person -ESA relationship.
  • Implications for veterinary practice.
Session 3

Relationship-centred care and assistance animal partnerships

Learning objectives:

  • Identifying the importance and principles of relationship-centred care.
  • Compassionate communication skills.
  • A partnership in care: Empathy and shared decision making.
  • Considerations for bereavement and loss support.


The price includes all 3 sessions, notes and quiz – 8 hours of CPD

*No traffic jams, accommodation hassles, pet or childcare, rota clashes, locum fees ……….. just great CPD and a valuable ongoing resource.

Overseas customers will be charged VAT. However we will refund the VAT to you within 3 working days.

Course Feedback :

“I feel that it is good to have an awareness of the different relationships clients have with their animal though. Especially as veterinary professionals deal with the general public on a daily basis.

“I enjoyed it and enjoyed being able to do at my own pace. It’s much easier to do the webinars when I have quiet time at home or in practice.

“The content of the Mini Series will help me very much in my work in practice, now I have the increased awareness of the human animal bond with assistance dogs and emotional support dogs.

If you would prefer to reserve your place for 7 days whilst you arrange payment or check your commitments then click here

Reserve Your Place
Request an Invoice
Call now to reserve your place 0151 328 0444

Request an Invoice