Phyllis Erdman, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Counseling Psychology Program and is Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Education at Washington State University. Dr. Erdman has conducted research in parent/child relationships and human-animal interaction looking at the effectiveness of equine-facilitated activities (particularly in adolescent populations) and their impact on social-emotional development.
Her most recent work has focused on pet loss and bereavement in human-animal relations. She has conducted numerous workshops to help counselors understand the emotional impact of pet loss on their clients. She also co-edited a book with Lori Kogan entitled, Pet loss, grief, and therapeutic interventions: Practitioners navigating the human-animal bond, published by Routledge in 2019. Additionally, she has given presentations and workshops on the legal and ethical implications of prescribing service and emotional support animals to help counselors understand the complexity when requested to write letters for their clients.
Dr. Erdman serves as Past Chair of the Human-Animal Interaction Section of Division 17, and is committed to promoting research that documents evidence-based approaches for animal interventions, as well as the interdisciplinary nature of the field of human-animal interactions.