Sandra Brackenridge is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and former Associate Professor of Social Work at Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas.
She received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Sophie Newcomb College and Master's degree in Social Work from the Tulane School of Social Work at Tulane University. She has been practicing Clinical Social Work in various settings since 1983.
In addition to serving as Associate Professor for over 20 years in the BSW programs at Idaho State University and TWU, Sandra developed, directed and supervised a Veterinary Social Work program at the Center for Veterinary Specialty Emergency Care in Lewisville, Texas. She provides a full range of consulting services to other hospitals interested in developing VSW programs of their own.
Sandra also practices privately, with extensive experience providing supervision and counseling services.
IN HER WORDS:
"Even before obtaining my Bachelors in Psychology and my Masters in Social Work, I was committed to the human-animal connection, which I thought could be beneficial for both species. I feel a responsibility, after helping to elevate the perceived value of the human-animal bond within our society, to continue to provide support to the veterinarians and veterinary professionals who work diligently in honor of this relationship. With acceptance of the value of animals in our lives, the work of veterinarians has become more important and should be supported in all ways possible."
Sandra's Masters thesis 'Pets as Communication Links and as Aides to Psychotherapy in a Residential Setting" was completed in 1980 but with obstacles since it was before pets were allowed in any facility serving the public. Her educational foundation was in the area of mental health/psychotherapy. Her first social work position was in a pilot program with the child welfare system of Louisiana, and her second foray was another pilot program within the court system. She then branched into private practice and gained much experience in psychotherapy with multiple age groups, and she provided individual, family, and marital therapy. When in 1989, the benefits of the human-animal relationship arrived in national discussion, Sandra included her own animals in her practice as well in animal-assisted visits to nursing homes. She became interested in the intense grief due to pet loss in 1990, and she began offering presentations and support for staff to private veterinary clinics as well as animal control staff. This led to her position from 1990-1994, when Sandra acted as Coordinator of Counseling Services for LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. She developed an internship in social work there, in addition to a pet loss counseling program, an animal-assisted therapy program (the first in Louisiana to be allowed into a major medical facility), and a counseling service for veterinary students. In addition, as a long time horse enthusiast, she added to the pet loss literature about that unique relationship.
Sandra taught Social Work at Idaho State University beginning in 1994, and she continued teaching 2008-2017 as an Associate Professor of Social Work at Texas Woman's University. She has published numerous articles, chapters, and two books: one about pet loss and the other about stress management for the veterinary practice team. Please see her list of publications below.
Sandra developed and supervise a VSW program and internship in Texas at the Center for Veterinary Specialty Emergency Care in Lewisville. She has provided consulting services to other veterinary practices in Texas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Massachussetts, New York, Wisconsin, and California to do the same, resulting in the successful hiring and placement of VSW's and development of VSW internship programs.
She has served as Pet Loss Consultant for both the Idaho and Texas Veterinary Medical Foundations. Sandra is available to your group for presentations. Please use the contact form on this website.
Currently, Sandra maintains a small private practice serving clients desiring therapy, and she devotes much time to supervision of social workers working toward advanced licensure, particularly the LCSW.
Brackenridge, S (2019). The Social Worker: An Essential Hospice and Palliative Team Member, Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp. 565-574.
Goldberg, K., Brackenridge, S. (2018). Following the Loss of a Companion Animal: Aftercare & Pet Loss Support. In Kogan, L. and Christopher Blazina (Eds.) Pets, People and Psychotherapy, pp. 435-456. Academic Press.
Brackenridge, S. (2005). Stress management and substance abuse. In McCurnin, D. & Bassert, J. (Eds.), The Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians. (6th ed., pp. 1190-1202). St Louis: Saunders.
Brackenridge, S. (2001). Stress management. In McCurnin, D. & Bassert, J. (Eds.), The Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians. (5th ed., pp. 890-899). Philadelphia: Saunders.
Brackenridge, S. (1998). Stress and its management. In McCurnin, D. & Bassert, J. (Eds.), The Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technician. (4th ed., pp. 789-798). Philadelphia: Saunders.
Brackenridge, S. and Taboada, J. (1994). Client bereavement and the grief process. In McCurnin, D. (Ed.), Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians, (3rd ed., pp. 519-529). Philadelphia: Saunders.
Brackenridge, S., McPherson, B. Developing a Successful Social Work Practicum in a Private Veterinary Specialty Hospital. Field Educator, Simmons School of Social Work accepted for publication Spring 2016.
Brackenridge, S., Zottarelli, L. K., Rider, E. and Carlsen-Landy, B. (2012). Dimensions of the Human-Animal Bond and Evacuation Decisions among Pet Owners during Hurricane Ike. Anthrozoos 24(2): 229-238.
Brackenridge, S. (2000). The unmotivated client. Equine Practice Journal,. Mission Viejo: Veterinary Practice Publishing Co.
Brackenridge, S. and Shoemaker, R. S. (1996). The human/horse bond and client bereavement in equine practice, part 3. Equine Practice Journal, 18 (4), 20-23.
Brackenridge, S. and Shoemaker, R. S. (1996). The human/horse bond and client bereavement in equine practice, part 2. Equine Practice Journal, 18 (2), 23-25.
Brackenridge, S. and Shoemaker, R. S. (1996). The human/horse bond and client bereavement in equine practice, part 1. Equine Practice Journal, 18 (1), 19-22.
Brackenridge, S., Johnson, S., and Kirby, B. (1995). Client counseling in orthopedic emergencies. Veterinary Clinics of North America, 25 (5), 1047-1058.
Brackenridge, S. and Elkins, D. (1992). Methods of coping with stress and prevention of burnout in veterinary practice. Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian, 14(2) pp. 157.
Brackenridge, S. (1996). Alleviation of stress with veterinary critical care. In Hughes, D. (Ed.) Fifth International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium, Scientific Proceedings. (pp. 378-380). Madison, WI: Omnipress.
Brackenridge, S. (1996). Stress management and coping techniques. In Hughes, D. (Ed.) Fifth International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium, Scientific Proceedings. (pp. 374-377). Madison , WI: Omnipress.
Brackenridge, S. (1996). Stress: causes and consequences. In Hughes, D. (Ed.) Fifth International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium, Scientific Proceedings. (pp.369-373). Madison, WI: Omnipress.
Brackenridge, S. (2015) Because of Flowers and Dancers. Corinth: Sandra Brackenridge.
This book is available for purchase on this website.
Brackenridge, S. (completed 2013, 187pp). She Said I’ll Be Back: True Stories of the Dog-Human Bond during Hurricane Katrina. Book proposal completed.
Brackenridge, S. and Elkins, D. (1997). Stress Management for the Veterinary Practice Team. Santa Barbara: Veterinary Practice Publishing Co.
Brackenridge, S. (1994). Because of Flowers and Dancers. Santa Barbara: Veterinary Practice Publishing Co.