Introduction

Group therapy is an excellent medium for children with social withdrawal issues (Slavson, 1940) and shyness (Schaefer & Millman, 1994). Groups are natural settings for children (family, school, peers), and, therefore, well-structured therapeutic groups can be most beneficial for children who have difficulty expressing their individuality and consequently have difficulties with envy, competition, and normal feelings of anger. The group serves as a holding environment, allowing group members the possibility of regressing within clearly defined and protective boundaries (Schneider, 1990).

Since the pioneering work of Boris Levinson (1964, 1969), with his dog Jingles, and his coining of the phrase: "Pet Therapy," animal assisted therapy has become an important adjunct to our therapeutic repertoire. Although animals are used therapeutically in individual (Prothmann, Bienert & Ettrich, 2006; Fine, 2000), milieus (Holcomb & Meacham, 1989; Fine, 2000), and family (Sussman, 1985) contexts, structured group therapy with children utilizing animals and creative activities as a therapeutic medium, is a rarer phenomenon.

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