Using solution-focused brief therapy and animal-assisted therapy with sexual minorities: A pilot microanalysis study
Handley, Valerie A.
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Previous studies reveal that sexual minorities experience psychological distress at a higher rate than heterosexuals (Melby, 2011). Additionally, sexual minorities have reported negative experiences with mental health professionals (Avery, Hellman, & Sudderth, 2001; Platt et al., 2018). There is a need for mental health professionals to provide therapy that is more inclusive for sexual minorities. To date, there is limited research on what treatment models could be used to promote inclusivity for sexual minorities. The core ideas and values of AAT and SFBT suggest they have the potential to promote an inclusive environment. Microanalysis of Face-to-face Dialogue offers a way to examine the content in SFBT and AAT sessions to understand how they both promote positive content. Positive content has been linked to the therapist preserving the client’s language (Froerer & Jordan, 2013). The purpose of this pilot study is to investigate the influence of AAT and SFBT on the content of therapist-client dialogue in therapy sessions with sexual minorities. Findings of this study suggest that both SFBT along and SFBT with AAT facilitate positive content in therapist-client dialogue, with SFBT with AAT interviews containing more positive content and less negative content than SFBT interviews. Additionally, results indicate that in SFBT with AAT interviews, after the introduction of the dog, there is significantly greater positive content and less negative content than in SFBT interviews.