The purpose of case studies is to ensure that students are working between sessions and to provide feedback to assist in their progress with dogs and clients.
With online learning, case studies are an invaluable way to gain feedback from your instructors and enhance your learning and overall skill level. Case studies are an important requirement of the evaluation process. While case study requirements can seem daunting, they are really just a way to showcase what you know and help you fine tune new skills.
The purposes of submitting case studies are to:
- ensure that students practice their skills between sessions,
- establish a useful, professional recording system, and
- give the instructors a clearer idea of where they may give a student added guidance and clarification.
Students will submit 5 detailed case studies and 15 checklists according to the following schedule:
- 1 case study and 5 checklists at 30 credits
- 2 case studies and 5 checklists at 40 credits
- 2 case studies and 5 checklists at 50 credits
These cases must be a minimum of two sessions and include work with the client as well as the dog. Each case must be with a different dog. Photos or short video clips may be included as part of your case study documentation.
Creating Case Studies
When we look at your case studies, we want information relevant to the case and to know the progression of what happened during the session in a concise manner.
In doing a session:
1) Gather information from the client. Asking good questions helps clarify the baseline and may add important information.
2) Establish a clear goal – This is the process of learning what the client wants from the session. This does not mean that you have to identify a problem, some owners just want to learn how to do TTouch with their dog. The goal could be supporting quality of life for an older dog. Of course, most often, people do have something they would like to change. Having a clear picture of what they want (not what they don’t want) is important. Too many practitioners and clients are frustrated because they are working toward different goals or different pictures of the same goal.
3) Be aware of the session time you have with the dog or the dog and client. Pace yourself so that you can gather information, work with the dog, and if applicable, have the client work with the dog. Be sure to have them practice the things you want them to do prior to your next session rather than just show them. There may be things you will change dependent on how successful your client is with what you have suggested. Allow time for summarizing and planning the next session, if appropriate.
4) It isn’t necessary to talk to the client while you are working, this is a skill that comes with practice, however we do want the client to know that what you are doing is relevant to their goals. You may explore many possibilities with the client and/or the dog. From this, decide what things are most useful for this particular dog and client.
5) When we read a case study, it is like seeing a movie of what you are doing in our heads. As a result of that, please include the following:
1. Set the scene
- What kind of dog is it? ( Breed type? age? sex? )
- Guardian’s concerns or observations (why are they seeking your help?)
- Environment? If the household information is important, include details about other people and animals. For a dog with behavior issues this may be especially important. If you are working with a physical issue it may be less so.
- Other baseline information – how was the dog as you approached, what information can you gather, what did you notice about posture, balance, physical comfort, response to the environment, etc.
2. General Observations
- How is he about being touched? Can you put your hands on every part of his body? How does he accept that? What does his body feel like? (Warm, cool, hard, soft, how does his hair coat feel? The tone of his muscles?)
- What is his posture like? If it’s a dog, does he pull on the leash? Does he stand in balance? Is it variable depending on what is going on?
- Does he demonstrate any self-control? Can the dog be contained? Can they stand in their own balance?
3. Your Process
- Include enough information to describe what you did. Include a variety of TTouches, what sort of equipment you used, if the client was able to be successful with what you asked, etc.
- What kind of equipment are you using? Collar? Harness? Single or double leash? How many points of contact? Any other equipment?
- What do you see changing? What are you doing as a result of the changes?
4. What were the results?
- Did the dog accept the work easily? If, not, how did you change what you were doing to make it easier for them? What was their response then? Was the client able to be successful? If not, how did you adapt or change what you were doing to help them? How much were you able to do toward the client’s goals in this session?
5. How would you do things differently?
- Sometimes it may be useful to include what you would do differently next time/ or what is the next step for the client and dog?
- What might you try future sessions?
If you choose to include the reflection comments, these can be added after each session or at the end of the case.
- A case without a successful result can still be a good case study. Perhaps you learned a lot about what you would do differently next time or sometimes valuable things happened even if you didn’t reach the goal.
*A lot of information can be written in a concise manner. If you are not sure about your cases, it is useful to check with your mentor or an Instructor for guidance. Photos and videos can be useful additions.
Case Study Templates
Case Studies need not be cookie cutter however it can be helpful to have a general idea of what is expected! Over the decades of practitioner certification, practitioners have submitted thousands of great case studies that clearly reflect their skill and knowledge.
For many individuals, getting started on case studies can seem daunting. Remember that case studies are as much for you as they are for the instructors evaluation! Case studies do not need to be extremely lengthy and full of well written prose, in fact we prefer they are not! The goal of case studies is to demonstrate the progression of client sessions in a manner that describes these key things:
- ➡️ Initial Observations
- ➡️ Approach
- ➡️ Reason for doing what you did
- ➡️ How your approach worked
- ➡️ What you might do differently
- ➡️ What techniques, exercises, and tools were utilized and WHY
- ➡️ Any changes that were observed
- ➡️ How you would proceed/recommendations
Click here to download a PDF Case Study Template example.
Case Study Examples
Much like the template, we do not expect case studies to all look the same or follow the exact same formula.
Below you will find several case study examples to help you get started with your own. Notice that they vary in how many photos are included, video is also an acceptable addition.
Please note that the Tellington TTouch Method is constantly evolving and progressing so some do not include more current techniques and exercises.
As you work towards Practitioner Certification we expect that you will be working with many more than 5 animals. To help you track your skills, habits, and expand your “comfort zone” we have a simple checklist that allows you to see your patterns as you work with different animals (feel free to practice on other species if the opportunity arises).
This checklist can help “remind you” that there are endless choices within the method and let you know if there are techniques that you are not as comfortable integrating.
Checklists are a useful way for you to remember to use the many TTouch tools and techniques you have learned. We sometimes have a tendency to use the TTouches and other techniques that we are most comfortable with, while other TTouch work might be helpful for the animal. Using the checklists can help you see if you have this tendency and remind you of what other tools you might use to help the animal. Checklists can also help the instructors see how they can support you in your learning.
Place a check mark in the box if you used or attempted to use that TTouch or technique with a dog ( or other animal). The boxes for pressure and tempo may be a single number or a range, indicating how you used that TTouch.
Optional – Very brief comments may be added in the box in the lower corner.
Each checklist should be for a different animal (primarily dogs). These could be with or without a client.
Be sure to check with your mentor or an Instructor if you have any questions. Enjoy the process of applying the things you have learned and changing the world one TTouch at a time!
A PDF version of the checklist can be downloaded here.