About Us

Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado is one of the first counseling centers in the nation that specifically integrates teams of professional therapists and their therapy animals to facilitate the counseling process. Inspired by Linda's kitten Mazey and Ellen's dog Sasha, Dr. Linda Chassman and Ellen Winston started this Center in 2010 because they believe in the powerful effect animals have in healing and facilitating change.

 

Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado was originally founded as an LLC in 2010 but transitioned to a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2013 because we found that more than half of our clients were low-income, on Medicaid, Medicare, or CHP+, or were veterans. We wanted to be able to make the benefits of animal-assisted therapy available to everyone who contacted us, regardless of their ability to pay. The program is specifically geared to serve economically, physically, and/or mentally disadvantaged individuals and families. Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado offers Denver-metro area clients and their families the opportunity to improve their psychological and mental health through strategic therapy sessions with a trained Animal Assisted Therapy Counseling therapist or intern.


In addition to the therapy benefits received by the client, all Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado counseling interns conducting therapy sessions are training to be mental health clinicians, allowing graduate-level students to exercise their counseling skills in a supervised environment while also learning the added benefits of including a therapy animal in session. The innovative design of this program effectively allows Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado to not only provide professional therapy sessions at little or no cost to economically disadvantaged individuals, but it also offers a remarkable, educational environment for future clinicians to develop strong counseling skills and experience in mental health therapy practice.

Our Mission

Through our counseling and training programs, Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado provides and promotes animal assisted psychotherapy with rescued animals to facilitate healing for all people in need. 

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Our Vision

To provide and promote animal assisted psychotherapy (AAP) with rescued animals to facilitate healing for all people in need by:

 

  • Offering individual and group therapy to people of all ages and income levels and community events designed to improve mental wellness.

  • Providing a permanent home to rescued or rehomed farm and domestic animals with opportunities to participate in sessions with clients.

  • Training mental health professionals in ethical practice of AAP.

Join the Cause

As a nonprofit organization, we rely on the generosity of our community to accomplish our mission. Learn about all the ways you can be involved 

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