eCPD Tutorials

Applying Psychology to Veterinary Practice

£10.00 Ex VAT

eCPD Tutorial 
Start:  On-demand / Unlimited Lifetime Access
CPD:    120 minutes (UK), 2 points (AUS, NZ)
Level:  Intermediate



Course Summary

This two hour eCPD tutorial for veterinary nurses, explores the importance of veterinary professionals considering where their primary duty of care lies: to their non-human companion animal patient or their human client. In considering how ethical conflicts in veterinary practice are managed on daily basis, the importance of professionals  having insight into pet owners’ psychological representations of their companion animals (CAs) as a means of gaining deeper understanding of pet-person dyads is highlighted as an essential requirement in responding to conflicts of interests between owners’ demands and expectations and animal welfare. Self Psychology (Brown, 2003, 2004; Dawson, 2007; Kohut, 1971) is introduced as a psychological paradigm for understanding pet ownership and gaining insight into possible causes of animal welfare concerns frequently encountered in veterinary practice, e.g. lack of compliance to administering medication, pet obesity, behavioural “problems,” owner relinquishment and animal hoarding. The Paediatrician Model and Mechanical Model of Veterinary Practice (Rollin, 2010) are introduced within discussion of the inevitable tensions inherent within veterinary practice as a business which has protection of animal welfare as its central concern. The importance of using empathy as a portal for understanding the relationships  between pets and people is illustrated with case examples and the concept of relationship centred veterinary practiced is explored.

Course Tutor

Susan Dawson CPsychol, DCounsPsych, PhD
HCPC Registered Specialist Counselling Psychologist and Chartered Psychologist

Course Length

The course is worth 120 minutes of CPD for UK delegates and 2 AVNAT points  for Australian and New Zealand delegates


The course is provided with unlimited lifetime access for on-demand learning

Course Notes

Unfortunately, course notes are not available to accompany this tutoria

Release date: Jul 2018


Susan Dawson CPsychol, DCounsPsych, PhD
HCPC Registered Specialist Counselling Psychologist and Chartered Psychologist


Dr Sue Dawson is a HCPC registered specialist counselling psychologist currently working with the NHS; within her professional doctorate training Sue investigated veterinary surgeons’ experiences of depression and suicidal ideation. Sue has also completed a research doctorate investigating caregiver grief in relation to companion animal euthanasia. Sue has over 15 years experience working therapeutically with grieving pet owners. She has also carried out research into investigating therapeutic riding for children with behavioural difficulties. During her research doctorate Sue trained and gained experience in counselling grieving pet owners at the animal medical centre, New York and also the Argus Institute for families and veterinary medicine at Colorado State University. She has over 15 years experience of developing and providing training in pet bereavement support and the psychology of human ­animal relationships, including teaching at Myerscough College on the BSc in animal welfare, BSc in veterinary nursing and the animal assisted therapy foundation degree. Sue spent 2 years working as training manager with the Blue Cross pet bereavement support service (2007-­2009). Before this she worked for the RSPCA as an education adviser in the UK and internationally, in post war Bosnia. She is a qualified teacher with masters degrees in special educational needs and the psychology of education.


Upon purchase, the tutorial will be immediately available to view from ‘My Courses’ (along with your course notes, if available). Every eCPD tutorial now comes with lifelong access, so you can view the tutorial as may times as you like, with no time limits!


If you make any personal notes during the tutorial using ‘take notes’, these will be saved, along with your certificate and CPD record for permanent access in ‘My Courses’.

CPD Hours

This online course is worth 120 minutes of CPD.


A certificate will be available from the ‘My Courses’ section, for you to download and print, once you have completed the course.  A permanent record of your total CPD hours will also be recorded in your account section.


Australia and New Zealand 

The Australian Veterinary Nurse and Technician (AVNAT) Regulatory Council has allocated 2 AVNAT CPD points to this continuing education activity.


This course is also recognised by the New Zealand Veterinary Nursing Association (NZVNA) as providing 2 CPD points.



This course has been listed as ‘Intermediate’ level


All of our courses are aimed at veterinary nurses in general practice, but everyone who works in the veterinary profession is very welcome to attend, whether you are a clinical receptionist, veterinary surgeon, student nurse or have been a qualified nurse for over 20 years!


The courses are not formally assessed for skill level, so the following CPD levels are just a rough guide to help you decide if a course may be more or less suitable:


– maybe most suitable for qualified nurses in general practice approaching a new topic or looking for a refresher course

– maybe most suitable for qualified nurses in general practice along with referral / specialist nurses looking for a refresher course

– maybe most suitable for referral / specialist nurses and highly experienced qualified nurses in general practice


You will earn 10 Pawprint Points (£1.00 website credit) when you purchase this course


Our loyalty scheme rewards you with 10% in website credit to spend on future courses.  Choose pay with Pawprint Points during checkout.

Invoice My Practice


Debit or credit card is the preferred payment method

Please ask your practice manager or accounts department to visit the website, register an account in their own name, and during checkout, complete the ‘delegate name’ and ‘delegate email’ sections with your personal details.  We will then register you a personal account on your behalf, and transfer the course booking over to your new personal account.  We will of course email you all the information you need to access this new account and your CPD course.


If you need an invoice and no other payment method is available to you, then please email [email protected] with all the following information:

Please note the following:

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