Becoming and being an animal communicator: A phenomenological study

2005 2005

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Abstract (summary)

This study examines the essence of becoming and being an animal communicator through the lived experience of seven women who practice interspecies telepathic communication. This is a phenomenological study guided by the human science research method of Max van Manen. I reviewed the literature on the human-animal bond, anthropomorphism, animal emotions, and human-animal communication. I identified the participants from a list that appears in The Journal of Interspecies Telepathic Communication and includes only animal communicators who agree to practice according to a professional code of ethics. The data were collected by audiotape both during an individual consultation with my dog and during a follow-up interview with each participant in which she was asked to reflect on her experience during the consultation. The interview continued with probing questions to further explore why and how the participant chose to become an animal communicator and to seek her reflections on the experience of being an animal communicator. The audiotaped data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed. I uncovered the following dynamic themes and subthemes from the data, (a) Answering the Call, with the two subthemes Love and Respect and Walking the Path, (b) Listening to the Animals, with the three subthemes Establishing the Connection, Engaging the Senses, and Moving Self Aside; (c) Reflecting on the Experience, with the two subthemes Making Sense and Learning; and, (d) Discovering a Deeper Bond, with the two subthemes Spirituality and Universal Connection. To gain insight into the phenomenon, I completed two basic courses in animal communication. In this study, I reflect on my own experience of interspecies telepathic communication within the framework of the above themes. Based on the themes and subthemes, four meta-themes emerged as essential to the phenomenon. They are: Choosing, Connecting, Discerning, and Knowing. Using these meta-themes, themes, and subthemes, I created The Essential Structure of Becoming and Being an Animal Communicator. This structure shows the process of the experience for the participants and may be used as a guide for future research.

Indexing (details)

Developmental psychology;
Cellular biology;
Families & family life;
Personal relationships;
Veterinary services
0620: Developmental psychology
0758: Cellular biology
0628: Families & family life
0628: Personal relationships
0628: Sociology
0778: Veterinary services
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Social sciences; Psychology; Biological sciences; Animal communicator; Companion animals; Human-animal bond; Interspecies communication
Becoming and being an animal communicator: A phenomenological study
Vittitoe, Barbara Jo
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 66/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780542019517, 0542019515
Bentz, Valerie Malhotra
Fielding Graduate University
University location
United States -- California
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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