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Washington State University
College of Education

Phyllis Erdman

Phyllis Erdman

Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Department Chair – Kinesiology and Educational Psychology
college of education
Pullman campus
Cleveland hall 160D
pullman, WA  99164


Curriculum Vitae

Research/professional interests

Phyllis Erdman’s professional background is marriage and family therapy and viewing the impact of relationships from a systemic lens. Her current research focus is looking at the interaction between humans and animals and the therapeutic benefit of that relationship. She has conducted research and presented on animal loss and how humans conceptualize and process that grief. She is involved in ethical and legal aspects of policies regarding emotional support animals, therapy, and  service animals with a strong emphasis on the welfare of the animal. She is interested in promoting the field of human-animal interaction from a multidisciplinary framework. She is past chair and actively involved in the APA Div 17 section – Human-Animal Interaction.

Recent accomplishments

NEW BOOK recently published

  • Kogan, L. and Erdman, P. (Eds)  (2019). Pet loss, grief, and therapeutic interventions: Practitioners navigating the human-animal bond. Routledge.

BOOK in progress under contract with Routledge

  • Kogan, L. and Erdman, P. (Eds). Career Paths in Human-Animal Interaction for Social and Behavioral Scientists.


  • Erdman, P. and Ruby, K. (2019). Grief: The unique aspects of loss of a pet. In Kogan, L, & Erdman, P. (Eds). Pet loss, grief, and therapeutic interventions: Practitioners navigating the human-animal bond. Routledge.
  • Erdman, P. and Jacobson, S. (September 2018) Teaching social skills and communication to adolescents through equine interventions. In Trotter, K. & Baggerly, J (Eds) Equine assisted therapy activities for counselors: Harnessing solutions to common problems. Taylor and Francis.
  • Erdman, P., LaFollette, M., Steklis, N., Steklis, D., Germane, M., and Kogan, L. (2018). Guide to human-animal interaction education. Human Animal Interaction Bulletin, 6, 37-46.
  • Schroeder, K. Stroud, D., and Erdman, P (2018). Leading equine-assisted mental health groups: An exploratory survey of practitioner characteristics, practices and professional development. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 68 (2), 204-214.
  • Kogan, L., Schaefer, K., Erdman, P,. Schoenfeld-Tacher, R. (2016). University counseling center’s perceptions and experiences pertaining to emotional support animals. Journal of College Student Psycotherapy, 30:4, 268-283, DOI: 10.1080/87568225.2016.1219612

Educational background

  • Ph.D., Counseling, with specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy, St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX
  • M.Ed., Counseling, University of Houston, Houston, TX
  • BA, Psychology, University of Houston, Houston, TX