動物輔助治療是一種將合格療癒動物納入治療過程作為主要媒介的結構化輔助療法，過去許多文獻均指出，療癒動物能為人類帶來身心方面的助益。本研究以四位中壯年腦傷案主為研究對象，於十四單元之動物輔助治療介入後，以個別深度訪談及案主填寫之學習單蒐集資料，探討中壯年腦傷案主在動物輔助治療中的經驗內涵及治療後發生的改變。經由紮根理論資料分析策略完成研究資料的分析後，得到結果如下： 一、中壯年腦傷案主在動物輔助治療中所經驗到的內涵為：(1)狗醫生的存在有促進建立治療關係的效果，亦有助於化解參與者對治療的疑慮；(2)案主與狗醫生的互動經驗是愉快、獨特及難忘的；(3)人狗之間豐厚的信任關係，能夠為案主提供滋養與支持；(4)狗醫生在人際互動中具有連接線角色的功能；(5)經過投入練習、面臨挑戰及克服困難的歷程，案主達成了狗醫生親善大使公開發表之團隊任務。 二、腦傷案主在動物輔助治療中的改變為：(1)打破腦傷案主長期復健生活的停滯狀態；(2)狗醫生能引發案主主動的自我省思，提升後設認知功能；(3)狗醫生成為案主高度投入及克服困境的動力與支持來源，過程中所獲得之成功經驗與他人肯定，能夠增進案主的自信心與自我肯定，提升正向自我概念。 動物輔助治療在自然輕鬆的氣氛中，促發了案主的動力及勇氣，並突破熟悉的固有生活模式。案主受到狗醫生的吸引而高度投入參與，即使在過程中面臨許多挑戰，狗醫生的正向回饋與接納，使案主願意持續付出努力，在認知上也能更主動自我覺察與反思。治療方案的設計提供了腦傷案主發揮個人能力的機會，在狗醫生的陪伴下，付出努力及克服挫折後所獲得的成功經驗，為案主帶來了自我勝任感，因而增進正向自我概念。最後根據研究結果，提出對未來動物輔治療研究及執行動物輔助治療方案的建議。
Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a structural treatment method used in the treatment of human patients that incorporates the use of certified therapeutic animals as the main tool in the therapy process. Past research shows that animals bring physical and mental benefits to humans. This study involved four brain-injured clients who underwent intervention through 14 AAT sessions. Afterwards, data was collected through interviews and analyzed through grounded theory to investigate the experiences and changes undergone by the clients during AAT. The main findings were as follows: I.Clients with brain-injuries shared their AAT experiences as follows: (1) the presence of Dr. Dogs was important for the establishment of a therapeutic relationship; (2) the interaction between the clients and Dr. Dogs were positive, special, and unforgettable; (3) the strong trust that exists between human and dog provided nourishment and support to the clients; (4) Dr. Dogs provided a medium to facilitate a connection between humans; and (5) Clients and Dr. Dogs achieved their publicized mission by engaging in AAT and overcoming obstacles. II.Clients with brain-injuries achieved changes through AAT in terms of: (1) restarting their stagnant rehabilitation; (2) Dr. Dogs motivated clients to reflect on and improve their metacognitive abilities; and (3) Dr. Dogs provided the clients with motivation and support to overcome difficulties; the successful experience and recognition of others achieved during the process improved the self-confidence and assertiveness of the clients, which promoted positive self-concept. AAT prompted clients to show their energy and courage amidst a natural and relaxing atmosphere, breaking away from their familiar and established lifestyles. Due to the presence of Dr. Dogs, clients were encouraged to participate in activities despite encountering challenges. The positive feedback and acceptance of Dr. Dogs encouraged the clients to continue committing and expending their efforts, as well as actively becoming aware of themselves. The therapy program provided the clients a chance to display their abilities, and the successful experience they obtained through their hard work and overcoming obstacles brought them self-competence and improved their positive self-concept. Based on the results and findings of this study, recommendations to the further research and AAT practice were provided.