The purpose of this article is to explore the use, value, and applicability of animal-assisted therapy
in psychology. The case study method was applied to a therapeutic case, using the interpretivist
paradigm. Data were analyzed by means of document analysis. The findings are discussed according
to five themes derived from the study, namely, “facilitating relationship building,” “enabling
communication by working indirectly,” “experiencing physical affection through the therapy dog,”
“socialization skills,” and “enhanced self-esteem.” We report that the deliberate inclusion of an
animal in therapy facilitates relationship building and therefore aids the therapeutic alliance, as
well as enhances an individual’s socialization skills and self-esteem.