Human-Animal Bonds: The Relational Significance and Therapeutic Applications

Since earliest human times and across cultures, our connections with animals have been profound. In the mental health field, deep attachments with companion animals — long underappreciated or even pathologized — are now finding important therapeutic applications. Drawing on research and practice advances, Dr. Walsh illuminates the ways that human-animal bonds benefit health, healing, and resilience. In this workshop participants will:

  • Examine the role of pets in couple and family dynamics and address bereavement in the loss of a cherished companion animal
  • Explore the emerging field of animal-assisted interventions, e.g., in therapeutic applications with autism, abuse, and PTSD; in healthcare and eldercare settings; and innovative school, prison, and community programs
  • Discuss the ways that therapy animals can enrich clinical practice as valuable resources in healing


froma-walshFroma Walsh, PhD,
is Co-Founder & Co-Director, Chicago Center for Family Health and the Sylvia Firestone Professor Emerita, University of Chicago. She is the foremost international authority on family resilience and a leading expert on trauma and loss; family diversity; spirituality in family therapy; Her deep interest in human-animal bonds led to companion articles on their relational significance and therapeutic benefits in Family Process.
Dr. Walsh, a Clinical Psychologist and AAMFT Approved Supervisor, is Past President, American Family Therapy Academy, past editor, Journal of Marital & Family Therapy, and recipient of numerous awards for her distinguished contributions to family therapy and the mental health field. With 120+ scholarly publications, recent books include: Strengthening Family Resilience, (3rd ed., 2016); Normal Family Processes: Growing Diversity and Complexity, (4th ed; 2012 / 2016); Spiritual Resources in Family Therapy (2nd ed. 2009). She is a highly regarded speaker and consultant nationally and internationally. Dr. Walsh received her BA (honors, Psychology), the University of California, Berkeley; MSW, Smith College; and PhD. (Human Development & Behavioral Sciences), the University of Chicago; and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco.

Date: Friday, March 3, 2017
Time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tuition: $135
CEUs for NYS: 6
CEUs for NASW – CT: 5

Price Qty
Tuition $135.00 (USD)  

If you would like to mail or fax in your application form, download a printable application

The Ackerman Institute for the Family SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0052.

If you are an Ackerman alumni of the Externship or current Ackerman student, please contact the Training Department to register.

Damaly Ferreira
212 879-4900, ext 111
training@ackerman.org