Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 455–474 | Cite as

Cow as co-therapist: Utilization of farm animals as therapeutic aides with children in residential treatment

  • Gerald P. Mallon


Using a mixed methodological approach, this exploratory study investigates the experiences of children who are placed in a residential treatment center that utilizes farm animals as one of its treatment approaches. The findings indicate that the children utilized the farm animals, like one would utilize the services of a therapist. Respondents indicated that they spoke to the animals, without fear that what they said would be repeated; that they visited the animals to feel better when they felt sad or angry; and that they learned about nurturing and caring for other living things. This article highlights a unique and novel approach to treatment that has not, as yet, been fully explored by the child welfare profession.


Social Psychology Treatment Approach Methodological Approach Child Welfare Exploratory Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald P. Mallon
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Social WorkColumbia UniversityNew York

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