MSU School of Social Work’s summer course, Social Work and the Human Animal Bond (SW491), taught by Linda Lawrence, MSW, LMSW, is a one credit class that explores the influences of the human animal bond in social work practice, as well as the ways that the human animal bond emerges in other professions that work with animals.
This class has had a number of excellent and diverse guest speakers from the local community, including Wellspring Christian Counseling on animals in therapeutic and counseling settings, MSU Police K9 Unit on dogs in policing, Stiggy’s Dogs on therapy dogs for veterans living with PTSD or TBI, and AACORN on individuals with autism and developmental disabilities working with farm animals. Cristy Cummings, LLMSW, lectured on social work practice and the link between human and animal violence.
On the final day, the class took a field trip to Beekman Therapeutic Riding Center to learn about ways that people with all abilities are able to partner with horses in a therapeutic setting.
Writing and photo credits to Cristy Cummings.