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720-266-4444

Our 3-Day Intensive Training in Animal Assisted Therapy is as popular as ever. The founders of Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado, Linda Chassman and Ellen Winston will be bringing their combined expertise to Australia for those interested in adding animals into their professional mental health practice.  Students come from all over the world to learn with professionals who work every day helping clients with the assistance of their many therapy animals. This is a highly experiential workshop where participants will be working with several different species of animals. The emphasis is on mental health counseling and psychotherapy  but professionals and students from many different disciplines in human services have found the workshop very helpful. 

If you are in the Certificate Program in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy and interested in adding the experiential training to your Certificate you can also attend the 3-day Skills-Based Intensive training where the student will have the opportunity to develop and practice AAP skills with others in a hands-on, experiential format with live animals. Students who have completed both the online coursework and the 3-day Intensive will have earned the CAAPII (Certificate of Education in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy with Experiential Learning).

Animal Assisted Psychotherapy Skills-Based Training

Our 2019 Intensive was Fantastic. We hope to hold another one in 2020 or 2021. Please complete the form below if you are interested and we will keep you posted.

Click Here to receive information on future Intensives in Australia or to enroll in our online Certificate Program

 

Click Here to Register to Attend our Intensive in Colorado, USA

Continuing Education Hours/Credit: AATPC has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6545. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. AATPC is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. Participants may earn 18 Continuing Education Hours through National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and Australian Counselling Association (ACA).

Course Requirements: No prerequisites. This training is open to anyone interested in integrating animals into their workplace. The emphasis is on counseling and psychotherapy. 

Schedule

Day 1: Animal Assisted Therapy Basics

This training will cover the basic issues involving the clinical practice of animal assisted therapy and provide opportunity to practice and learn to develop skills working with animals that help people.

Topics Include

  • Various types of animal assisted activities
  • Choosing an appropriate animal for your setting and population
  • Benefits of animal assisted therapy (AAT) and psychotherapy (AAP) and the strengths of integrating
  • Various animals
  • Training and certification
  • Legal and ethical issues in AAT
  • Animal welfare issues

Day 2: Dogs and Other Animals as Co-Therapists

We will work with a variety of animals in this training, learning more specifically about the strengths and challenges of dogs, cats, goats, and small animals as therapy partners. We will also explore how each animal can benefit our clients.

Specifically we will explore

  • Benefits of particular types of animals
  • Skills and other qualities needed to be an effective therapy animal
  • Recognizing and managing animal calming signals and stress signs
  • Moderating client and animal needs
  • Specific areas of strength for different types of animals
  • Basic training issues for dogs and other animals
  • Helping clients to work safely with different types of animals

 Day 3: Animal Assisted Intervention Development

This day will focus on the process and practice of developing specific interventions for children, teenagers, and adults, aimed at targeting treatment goals for a number of common clinical issues including:

  • Trauma
  • Anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Addiction
  • Self-harm & suicide
  • Depression
  • Attachment issues
  • Autism spectrum
  • And more (if you have a specific request please email us in advance!) 

INTENSIVE REFUND POLICY: Cancellation for the 3-day Intensive with at least 4-weeks notice of the event date will be refunded in full, minus a $50 handling fee. If you contact us within 4 weeks of the event date, we will provide you a credit, minus a $50 handling fee, that can be used towards another training course, DVD or other training option through AATPC.

ADA Needs: We are happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please call at least two weeks prior to the seminar date. We have handicap parking on site.

Thank you for your payment. 

 

Please feel free to send us an email or call us at 720-266-4444 for more information.

Comments on our Online Certificate Program

"I am so pleased to have been able to undertake this certificate. It was the best product I could find to boost my qualifications in this area and the fact that it is offered online has meant it is accessible to international students such as myself. The AAT industry is still unregulated in Australia and so this course was not only been helpful in developing my clinical skills, but has also assisted in demonstrating my pursuit of 'best practice'. The courses are of high rigour and practical application." Gwen Shumack, Psychologist, UNE Student Counselling and Psychological Service, Armidale, NSW, Australia.

Comments on our 3-Day Intensives

“AATPC Intensive Training is a novel and innovative learning experience in applying animal assisted therapy techniques to use with the most traditional aspects of psychotherapy. The training was fun, comprehensive, and an innovative experience. I am eager to apply these techniques with my patients.” - Susan Fuchs, MD Psychiatrist, Hamilton, NJ

“This workshop validated so many of the observations I have made over the years regarding the therapeutic value of AAT. Thank-you for a very well-organized and valuable learning experience and for sharing the amazing work you do with us. You are very inspiring.” - Terri Straiton, Teacher/Counsellor, BC, Canada

“This workshop was filled with amazing information and opportunity to learn about AATP. I believe in this work and that people will benefit greatly from it. Animals as co-therapists is a beautiful and life altering way to healing!!” - Callie Moore, Holistic Health Practitioner, Golden, CO

“I cannot recommend this training enough. I learned so much about animal assisted therapy, and the ways in which it can help the field of social work. The Barking CAAT is an amazing place!” - Stephanie, Graduate Student, Boulder, CO

“I really enjoyed this experience! It gave me the opportunity to increase my knowledge in this topic by interacting with different animals and having feedback from two experienced specialists like Ellen and Linda.” - Karen S. Jove’, School Psychologist, Puerto Rico

“After over 1,000 CEU hours in the course of my 30 year career, this was one of the best I’ve enjoyed.” - Pam Rudat, Ph.D.

“This training was a complete picture of the fundamentals of AAT. I learned a lot about structuring a program which is essential to doing this well. I’m glad I came.”  - Karen Swanay, MS. Panama City, Florida

“The information you get in this class is fantastic. It was not only a great mix of lecture and resource material, but also a great way to see how AAT works in a clinical setting. You spend lots of time working through treatment and action plans. I suggest it to anyone interested in animals and mental health.” - Candace Bolz, student. Denver, CO

“The training was an invaluable experience! I was challenged to “think outside the box” and apply AAT interventions to clinical issues with my clients. This training has solidified my interest in researching and incorporating AAT in my professional practice. Thank you for this amazing learning opportunity.” - Katye Tuttle, MA, CRC. St. Peterburg, FL

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I'm interested in doing what you do? How do I get there?

In order to provide animal assisted psychotherapy, you need to start with a minimum of a Master's Degree in a mental health or social work field. Most of our clinicians have Master's Degrees in Counseling, Counseling Psychology or Social Work. (In order to get into a Master's Degree program you will likely need to complete your Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, Human Services, Social Work, etc.). The training to be an Animal Assisted Psychotherapist is considered a post-graduate training, or a specialty. So, you need to know how to be a counselor or social worker first, then add the specialty. 

I have a great dog. Can I just bring him to work with me?

In 2016 the American Counseling Association publicized Competencies that must be fulfilled in order to ethically provide animal assisted therapy-counseling (this is the equivalent of animal assisted psychotherapy). Click here to read the article. The competencies state clearly that the professional must have formal training and supervision.  Additionally, insurance will likely not cover an event if the professional cannot demonstrate they are operating within the scope of their training and experience. Even if you are not a member of ACA, similar competencies are likely being formulated from within the other professional organizations.

What does your program to do help me?

AATPC has one of the only internationally recognized training programs in clinical animal assisted psychotherapy. What's more, our model is based on practice; in the 20+ years of our experience with animal assisted psychotherapy we  have treated hundreds of clients with a wide range of mental health issues, and with numerous types of animals. We are highly qualified to help you reach your professional goals.

Do I need a Certificate?

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A Certificate of Education provides you with the knowledge base to be proficient in a specific area of study. Our Certificate of Education in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy provides you with the education and knowledge to know how to practice AAP safely, ethically and competently. AATPC’s Certificate in AAP is focused on the clinical application of AAP and will teach you the skills needed to design and provide effective animal assisted interventions in your own psychotherapy practice. By earning your Certificate of Education you are demonstrating your commitment to a being a specialist in this growing field. And, our Certificate Program meets all of the ACA competencies.

Will my state recognize my Certificate?

At this time there are no national or state regulations on providing Animal Assisted Psychotherapy. Like other specialty areas within mental health, if you can demonstrate that you have training and experience in proving AAP within the scope of your license (or other allowable state requirements to practice psychotherapy), your work should be recognized.

What about Insurance?

While it is imperative that you check with your own liability insurance policy, most policies will cover you for those areas of practice that fall within your scope of training and experience. Therefore, it is essential that you can provide your insurance carrier evidence that you have sufficient training to provide AAP. Most insurance companies will accept our Certificate of Education as part of this evidence. However, we cannot guarantee individual insurance policies and there may be other requirements, such as Certification for you and your animal(s) through a separate Certifying organization (such as Professional Therapy Dogs of Colorado, Pet Partners, etc.).

When can I start working on my Certificate Program?

The program is self-paced and can start whenever you are ready. Once you are accepted and enrolled in the program you will receive the book list and information on how to log-in to our online classroom – then you are ready to get started!

How long will it take me to complete the Certificate?

Since the program is self-paced this is really up to you. We have students who are very committed to completing the program and can finish in 6-months. There are 6 online courses, and each course has between 5-7 assignments, usually including reading, watching videos, observation, and papers.

I don't have a Master's Degree – can I still apply?

The program is designed to be a post-graduate course, therefore the coursework is geared towards students who have already completed their education and skills at a minimum of a Master’s level (for students in other countries please talk to us since not every educational system works the same way). The program is also designed for those who already have strong clinical skills so that they can focus on adding the animals to their existing work. Students have found it difficult to apply the program skills without having this background in mental or behavioral health already. However, our 3-Day Intensive Workshops can be a great entree to the field and they are open to anyone interested. 

What kind of contact will I have with the Instructors?

Once you start your Certificate you will schedule a regular “supervision meeting” time (usually over the phone or via Skype) with our Training Director, Ellen Winston, who will help to make the courses manageable and applicable to your goals. Our instructors are committed to helping you reach your goal and are always available to answer your questions.

 I have more questions. Can we talk?

Absolutely. We are happy to have a Professional Consultation with you in order to answer any questions you may have. You may call Ellen Winston at 720-266-4444 x2  or email at ewinston@aatpc.org or Linda Chassman at 720-266-4444- x1 t or email to lchassman@aatpc.org to schedule a Professional Consultation

To learn more about our training program, or to schedule a consultation, you can contact us at: 720-266-4444 x2, or send us an email at ewinston@aatpc.orgWe look forward to working with you.

 

 

AATPC has a large internship program for Master's and Doctoral level mental health students. For more information please read below.

Mike and Duncan

If interested please complete and email the application below, along with a cover letter and resume to internship@aatpc.org.

Internship Application

2020 - 2021

AATPC INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

The Internship Program at AATPC is one that will provide both training and supervision, as well as experience working with a variety of clients using Animal Assisted Therapy. We require a 9-12-month commitment of 20-hours per week (regardless of graduation date). All interns are required to work a minimum of 5 hours each weekend and at least 2 evenings per week, and including Thursdays from 11:00am – 2:00pm.

During your initial weeks you will be given an intern orientation and training that will prepare you in both an administrative and clinical capacity for your future career. After your orientation, you may begin working with clients immediately as it is our priority to provide a maximum of 12 client hours per week for you (though most interns are capped at 10-12 clients per week). In addition to client sessions and case file management, this position will have other responsibilities, which may include administrative or administrative support work, ranch and animal care, and programmatic support. Supervision will be provided for all tasks that are asked of you. Because this is a Ranch, there is non-clinical work that is expected of all staff, including interns, to maintain the health and well-being of the animals and cleanliness of the facility, as well as to support the non-profit.

We do not require you to work with your own animal, however if you choose to bring an animal to work with you, it must be your own pet and they will be part of a secondary interview process. These animals do not necessarily need to be trained “therapy” animals, but must have appropriate temperament and personality, be obedience trained, and the intern must be willing to train and certify their animal during their internship with AATPC (dog training and Certification will be at the intern’s expense). If interns do not have a personal animal they can work with, there are options open to work primarily with ranch animals; this will be discussed on an individual basis.

Due to our high client load and the nature of our office, we do require that all interns have previous Practicum experience in a supervised, clinical setting, or clinical work experience.

We ask that you carefully review these requirements before applying for this internship.

Thank you.

  • Completion of Practicum or have provided similar mental health counseling experience
  • 12 month commitment
  • 20 hours per week including 5 hours per weekend and 2 evenings per week
  • Intern will participate in all trainings and supervisions provided at AATPC (free of charge with the exception of AAP Certification)
  • At least one session per week must be monitored or audio or video taped for supervision purposes.
  • Intern will attend one hour of individual supervision per week
  • Intern will attend mandatory team meetings and group supervisions each week on Thursdays from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm.

Duties may include:

  • Psychotherapy - Direct client hours
    • Children
    • Adolescents
    • Adults
    • Couples
    • Families
    • Seniors
    • Veterans
  • Group Therapy
    • Start own groups
    • Participate in Social Skills or Addiction Groups
  • Administrative Support (this is a partial list)
    • Answering calls asking for information & scheduling new client appointments
    • Giving tours of the Ranch
    • Assisting volunteers with animal and housekeeping duties
    • Have a weekly cleaning project
    • Supporting fund raising activities & volunteer events
    • Public speaking or representing AATPC at public functions
    • Assistance cleaning the offices as needed
    • Assistance with Ranch Animals, including cleaning stalls!

If you are interested in applying to our Internship Program, please complete the attached Application and submit it along with a current resume and cover letter that specifically details your experience that may be relevant to this position. You can fax it to Alyssa Weidman at (303) 431-4708, mail to the address below or email to internship@aatpc.org.

Please note that the application process may include three stages for selected candidates:

  1. Online application
  2. Group interview
  3. Individual interview

For questions, please contact Alyssa Weidman at 720-266-4444 x 28 or internship@aatpc.org

Stormy 300w

We provide group training in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy for hospitals, hospices, and various community agencies. This can be especially beneficial for large groups or agencies who cannot travel to our Training Center — we will travel to you!

Group training can be tailored to the group’s size, needs, schedule and budget. Our experienced professional therapists and trainers each has their own area of expertise working with different animals. 

To learn more about how one of our Professional Therapy Teams can help, or to schedule a consultation, you can contact us at: 720-266-4444, or send us a confidential email. We look forward to working with you.

 

Training Videos

Integrating Dogs Into Your Professional Practice

Price: $185

Medium: YouTube. Includes PowerPoint and handouts.

Time Commitment: 6-hour video

Certificate Earned: 6-hour Continuing Education Certificate

Continuing Education Hours/Credit: This program is approved for 6 hours of Continuing Education through NBCC. Certificates of Completion are provided after the quiz is returned with at least 75% correct response.

Course Description: This training goes into depth in exploring how to choose or train a dog to be your partner in animal assisted therapy. Watch a segment.

 

The Suicidal & Self-Injuring Client: How Animals Can Enhance Treatment

Price: $170

Medium: YouTube. Includes PowerPoint and handouts.

Time Commitment: 3 1/2-hour video

Certificate Earned: 3 1/2-hour Continuing Education Certificate

Continuing Education Hours/Credit: This program is approved for 3 1/2 hours of Continuing Education through NBCC. Certificates of Completion are provided after the quiz is returned with at least 75% correct response.

Course Description: This workshop explores a variety of therapeutic interventions for use with clients of any age that present with suicidal or self-injuring behavior.

 

Animals Assisting Clients with Trauma 

Price: $185

Medium: YouTube. Includes PowerPoint and handouts.

Time Commitment: 6-hour video

Certificate Earned: 6-hour Continuing Education Certificate

Continuing Education Hours/Credit: This program is approved for 6 hours of Continuing Education through NBCC. Certificates of Completion are provided after the quiz is returned with at least 75% correct response.

Course Description: This workshop explores interventions that include a variety of animals (including dogs) as means to help clients with trauma issues. Watch a segment.

 

 

Webinars

Animals Assisting Clients with Trauma

Price: $160

Medium: PowerPoint. Includes audio and handouts.

Time Commitment: 3-hour webinar

Certificate Earned: 3-hour Continuing Education Certificate

Continuing Education Hours/Credit: This program is approved for 3 hours of Continuing Education through NBCC. Certificates of Completion are provided after the quiz is returned with at least 75% correct response.

Course Description: This workshop explores interventions that include a variety of animals (including dogs) as a means to help clients with trauma issues including symptoms of PTSD. This is an Advanced Workshop that assumes you already know how to work with clients with Trauma. We will spend the time focusing on integrating animals.

 

Introduction to Animal Assisted Therapy: Integrating Animals Into Your Professional Practice 

Price: $160

Medium: PowerPoint. Includes audio and handouts.

Time Commitment: 3-hour webinar

Certificate Earned: 3-hour Continuing Education Certificate

Continuing Education Hours/Credit: This program is approved for 3 hours of Continuing Education through NBCC. Certificates of Completion are provided after the quiz is returned with at least 75% correct response.

Course Description: If you are interested in pursuing your training and career integrating animals into your mental health practice, this workshop is intended to answer your questions. Topics Include: getting involved in AAT; training & Certification requirements; matching the appropriate animal with your setting and population; unique legal and ethical considerations.

 

Integrating Dogs into Your Therapy Practice

Price: $160

Medium: PowerPoint. Includes audio and handouts.

Time Commitment: 3-hour webinar

Certificate Earned: 3-hour Continuing Education Certificate

Continuing Education Hours/Credit: This program is approved for 3 hours of Continuing Education through NBCC. Certificates of Completion are provided after the quiz is returned with at least 75% correct response.

Course Description: This training goes into depth in exploring how to choose and train a dog to be you partner in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy.

 

Working With Children With the Assistance of Animals

Price: $160

Medium: PowerPoint. Includes audio and handouts.

Time Commitment: 3-hour webinar

Certificate Earned: 3-hour Continuing Education Certificate

Continuing Education Hours/Credit: This program is approved for 3 hours of Continuing Education through NBCC. Certificates of Completion are provided after the quiz is returned with at least 75% correct response.

Course Description: This webinar will focus on how both the therapist’s and client’s animals can assist children with emotional and behavior problems. A number of common issues will be explored.

 

AATPC has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6545. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. AATPC is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

REFUND POLICY: Your enrollment fees go to support our non-profit counseling center; fees go directly towards scholarships for low-income clients as well as care for our resident animals. Full refunds will be granted only in cases of technical difficulties with the materials.

Our 3-Day Intensive Training in Animal Assisted Therapy is as popular as ever. Students come from all over the world to learn with professionals who work every day helping clients with the assistance of their many therapy animals. This is a highly experiential workshop where participants will be working with 9 different species of animals. The emphasis is on mental health counseling and psychotherapy  but professionals and students from many different disciplines in human services have found the workshop very helpful. 

If you are in the Certificate Program in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy and interested in adding the experiential training to your Certificate you can also attend the 3-day Skills-Based Intensive training where the student will have the opportunity to develop and practice AAP skills with others in a hands-on, experiential format with live animals. Students who have completed both the online coursework and the 3-day Intensive will have earned the CAAPII (Certificate of Education in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy with Experiential Learning).

Animal Assisted Psychotherapy Skills-Based Training

Course Price: $1,100
Early payment discount (due 60 days in advance of training date)

Course Location: Barking C.A.A.T. Ranch - Arvada, CO

Arvada is approximately a 45 minute drive from the Denver International Airport. There is a lot to do in the area including hiking and biking. There are numerous food and lodging options close to Barking C.A.A.T. Ranch. Upon registration, we will send you information regarding local hotel options and fun things to do in the area.

 

2020 Course Dates

Saturday March 14 - Monday March 16, 2020

Saturday June 13 - Monday June 15, 2020 - This workshop is FULL - contact us if you would like to be on the Waiting List

Saturday September 26 - Monday September 28, 2020 - ONE SPOT LEFT!

 

Time Commitment: 3 days (18 Hours)

Have Questions? Contact Linda Chassman at lchassman@aatpc.org or 720-266-4444 x1

Click on the date below to register

Saturday March 14 - Monday March 16, 2020

Saturday June 13 - Monday June 15, 2020

Saturday September 26 - Monday September 28, 2020 - ONE SPOT REMAINING!

Continuing Education Hours/Credit: AATPC has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP No. 6545). This program is Approved by the National Association of Social Workers (Approval #88613700-5622) for 18 continuing education contact hours. This program is also Approved for 18 contact hours through the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).

Course Requirements: No prerequisites. This training is open to anyone interested learning about integrating animals into their workplace. The emphasis is on counseling and psychotherapy. 

 

Day 1: Animal Assisted Therapy Basics

This training will cover the basic issues involving the clinical practice of animal assisted therapy and provide opportunity to practice and learn to develop skills working with animals that help people.

Topics Include

  • Various types of animal assisted activities
  • Choosing an appropriate animal for your setting and population
  • Benefits of animal assisted therapy (AAT) and psychotherapy (AAP) and the strengths of integrating
  • Various animals
  • Training and certification
  • Legal and ethical issues in AAT
  • Animal welfare issues

Day 2: Dogs and Other Animals as Co-Therapists

We will work with a variety of animals in this training, learning more specifically about the strengths and challenges of dogs, cats, goats, and small animals as therapy partners. We will also explore how each animal can benefit our clients.

Specifically we will explore

  • Benefits of particular types of animals
  • Skills and other qualities needed to be an effective therapy animal
  • Recognizing and managing animal calming signals and stress signs
  • Moderating client and animal needs
  • Specific areas of strength for different types of animals
  • Basic training issues for dogs and other animals
  • Helping clients to work safely with different types of animals

 Day 3: Animal Assisted Intervention Development

This day will focus on the process and practice of developing specific interventions for children, teenagers, and adults, aimed at targeting treatment goals for a number of common clinical issues including:

  • Trauma
  • Anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Addiction
  • Self-harm & suicide
  • Depression
  • Attachment issues
  • Autism spectrum
  • And more (if you have a specific request please email us in advance!)

Prior Animal Assisted Therapy Intensive Training Video

 

INTENSIVE REFUND POLICY: Cancellation for the 3-day Intensive with at least 4-weeks notice of the event date will be refunded in full, minus a $50 handling fee. If you contact us within 4 weeks of the event date, we will provide you a credit, minus a $50 handling fee, that can be used towards another training course, or other training option through AATPC.

ADA Needs: We are happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please call at least two weeks prior to the seminar date. We have handicap parking on site.

"I was at the beginning stages of understanding and incorporating AAP into my practice, and the certificate program was exactly what I needed.  It provided both the educational and practical components I needed to obtain a well-rounded understanding of the field. The instructors were fantastic.  They consistently graded quickly, providing thoughtful and helpful feedback.  They challenged and encouraged me to bring my practice up to the next level." 2019 Certificate Graduate Aimee Maas, MSW, LCSW, CAAP, Carol Stream, IL

Malissa and Karma

"The Certificate Program met and exceeded my goals. I thought the courses covered all that was necessary to practice this specialty knowledgeably, ethically and safely for the animal and for the clients. I am happy to say, it also exceeded my goals. To tell the truth, when I started this program I could not imagine how AAP worked with adult clients. Because each of the 6  courses are flexible enough to allow for individual interests, I was able to learn how AAP benefits adult clients. I am now so excited and passionate that this can really help my adult clients in ways I never could have imagined before!"  2020 Certificate Graduate Janice Shapiro, MFT, San Jose, CA

Certificate Price: $2,100
Pay in full to receive a $100 discount.

Course Location: Online Courses

How the Certificate in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy will Help You: Our Certificate Program is specifically geared towards mental health graduate students and professionals who want to integrate animals into their professional practice. You are being taught by instructors who lead the field in their own development and practice of AAP with hundreds of clients, and dozens of different animals and different breeds. Our program was designed by professional educators and professional clinicians for professional clinicians! 

There are now best practice standards defined through the American Counseling Association (ACA); ACA and other professional organizations have adopted these "competencies" as the minimum requirements for working with any animal during counseling sessions. AATPC is also part of the international work-group that is further quantifying those standards. In other words, in order to meet the legal and ethical standards of animal assisted counseling/therapy/psychotherapy, all mental health professionals should have training and supervision before they work with an animal with clients. (Read this article to learn about a therapist who lost her license for providing counseling with a dog without having proper training.)

AATPC's Certificate Program has been designed to meet (and in many areas exceed) all of the ACA competencies. As a graduate of the program you will earn the designation Certified Animal Assisted Psychotherapist (CAAP) and will have gained education in: laws and ethics unique to AAP, basic animal ethology; basic positive animal training; how to develop effective interventions consistent with your theoretical orientation; and how to assess your effectiveness as an animal assisted psychotherapist. Individual supervision is provided monthly with our Training Director Ellen Winston. 

By earning your Certificate of Education in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy you will have the skills to develop highly effective treatment plans and animal-assisted interventions with a wide variety of clients. By working with our Training Director, AATPC's program is designed to be tailored to your specific animal(s), professional setting(s) and client population(s). Many of our students work with multiple animals (as we do) and have learned as a result of their program, how to use their own creativity and observation to integrate their animals into sessions in infinite ways. Our goal is to teach you how to develop your own client and animal-specific interventions, not just repeat standard interventions. This will help stimulate your practice for years to come. Working with your own animals also provides support for you as a clinician, working in a highly stressful work environment. 

This Certificate of Education does not provide certification of competency - you are not tested as part of the program. However you will be required as part of your program to submit a video and transcription of a session that includes an animal.  Your individual supervision time and submitted assignments will provide information to our instructors about your abilities to safely and ethically provide this specialty to your clients, but AATPC does not assume liability for student's practice behavior. 

Time Commitment: The AAP Certificate Program consists of 6 online courses with open enrollment, students can sign up and begin at any time. Each course is roughly equivalent to a semester course at a graduate university in terms of reading, work-load, writing expectations, and time required. Each course is 15 Continuing Education Hours for a total of 90 Continuing Education Hours. Each course has 3-4 assignments. It is designed to be completed within 8-9 months, but can be completed more quickly or slowly since each student will work at their own pace. 

Course Structure: The Certificate coursework may be completed at the student's own pace because we recognize that work and personal lives can be busy. Ongoing support and consultation is available to students throughout the program. Students can also network with others from around the world through our virtual classroom. Many of the assignments are traditional reading/writing, but experiential assignments are also included. Students will also be required to provide some video-taped sessions. The final course requires conducting a brief research study that includes a client and an animal as part of the therapeutic process. Students will conduct a single subject research design with pre and post treatment measures to be analyzed, or the student can do a qualitative research study. Those with no research background need not be concerned as instructors will provide assistance and support. 

Certificate Earned: Certificate of Education in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy (CAAP)

nbcc seal

Continuing Education Hours/Credit: AATPC has been approved by NBCC (National Board for Certified Counselors) as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6545. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. AATPC is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. The Certificate Program is also Approved by the Australian Counseling Association (ACA). The completed certificate will provide 90 Continuing Education Hours. 

Course Pre-Requirements: Participants must be students or graduates of an advanced degree program in a mental health field. Course content is clinically advanced and intended for mental health clinicians with some experience working in the field.

 
"I am so pleased to have been able to undertake this certificate. It was the best product I could find to boost my qualifications in this area and the fact that it is offered online has meant it is accessible to international students such as myself. The AAT industry is still unregulated in Australia and so this course was not only been helpful in developing my clinical skills, but has also assisted in demonstrating my pursuit of 'best practice'. The courses are of high rigour and practical application." Gwen Shumack, Psychologist, UNE Student Counselling and Psychological Service, Armidale, NSW, Australia.

Have Questions? Please clarify any questions before you apply. Contact Ellen Winston at ewinston@aatpc.org or 720-266-4444 x2

(Please complete the application only when you are ready to begin the program. You should receive a response to your application within 7 business days.)

Click Here to Apply  

 

COURSE CURRICULUM

Course 1: Human Animal Bond

This course forms the basis for the AAP Certificate. The bond between Humans and Animals has been scientifically established, as well as the mutual therapeutic benefits. This course will help you explore how the Human-Animal Bond can be used as a therapeutic medium. The influence of nature will also be explored as it benefits clients.

Objectives

  • Participants will identify 10 benefits that animals have on humans and their mental health
  • Participants will identify 5 benefits that humans have on animals
  • Participants will understand how animals can be harmed through interactions with humans
  • Participants will be able to develop 3 methods of intervention for mental health clients that are built on the bond between humans and animals
  • Participants will be able to describe 3 ways that the human animal bond can be damaged, or animals harmed through interaction with humans.

Course 2: Legal and Ethical Issues in AAP

In this course we will explore how working with different types of animals can bring up both legal and ethical issues when integrated into your practice. There are numerous legal and ethical considerations, especially related to working with less common animals, or working with multiple animals. The frequent use of the Therapy Zoo in Israel, while not common in the US brings up some interesting therapeutic possibilities that we hope you will consider; but it is not without both legal and ethical complications. Please consider these while you read and in reflecting in your papers.

Objectives

  • Participants will identify the relevant legal issues that pertain to AAP
  • Participants will identify the relevant ethical issues that pertain to AAP
  • Participants will be able to manage complex ethical issues
  • Participants will be able to balance client welfare with animal welfare
  • Participants will be able to contribute to the discussion on the ethical implications of animals as a therapeutic medium
  • Participants will maintain the practice of AAP as a professional specialty

Course 3: Animal Behavior and Training

The goal of this course is to teach the clinician to understand and utilize their therapy animal(s) behavior (ethology), adaptations, as a means to develop rich therapeutic interventions with clients. Through understanding the differences and functions of animal behavior (including human animals) clinicians can help clients see themselves and the animals within a new therapeutic and post therapy context. Within this context clinicians will learn basic animal training skills that can both help develop the skills of their therapy animal(s), as well as providing an enriching therapy experience for clients who would benefit from training the animals as part of their therapy.

Objectives

  • Students will understand basic Ethology of their primary therapy animal, as well as some general ethology of other animals
  • Students will understand how, when and why the animal’s behavior and adaptation can be used within the therapy context
  • Students will learn how to provide basic, positive-based training for animals and be able to train clients in this method
  • Students will have some knowledge as to how to train for problem behaviors in their and client’s animals
  • Students will be able to integrate animal ethology and animal learning as a means to develop and implement rich therapeutic interventions

Course 4: AAP and Theory

The application of AAT or AAP is most often thought of within its own context, not within the context of sound theory. Expertise in AAP will require a commitment to developing a clinical style that is well-founded within the context of theory. In this course students will explore how AAP can exist within such a context and be flexible enough to work within several different theoretical approaches. It is the goal of this course to introduce students to the use of a developmental-approach (as used in Parrish-Plass) as well as exploring other approaches of their own choice. It is our goal that through this exploration students will find ways to incorporate animals into their practice that can be effective and also consistent.

Objectives

  • Students will be able to develop a treatment plan using one specific theoretical orientation
  • Students will understand the relationship between treatment planning, and AAP interventions used within a specific theoretical context
  • Participants will apply specific AAP Interventions within a specified theoretical context
  • Students will choose (at least) one specific client population to study more in depth in order to develop expertise in that area

Course 5: Treatment Planning and Interventions Using AAP

In this course you will be learning to bring your preferred theoretical approach and AAP into your work with clients. You will be going beyond the theories and developing treatment plans that integrate theory and AAP concepts into a cohesive whole. We will be asking you to choose a primary population, or age group to focus on. While we know many of you work with a wide variety of ages, we want you to become the expert in this particular area and then you can broaden outward with experience. You will also choose to explore one particular problem area in depth, ideally one that you already or plan to work with. In addition we will be asking you to design a group and/or family therapy protocol. Within this exploration the student will learn different types of animal-assisted interventions that can then be used in a practical, yet still cohesive treatment plan.

Objectives

  • Understand the use of medium and projection in psychotherapy and how this can be a useful way to see the relationship of animals in practice
  • Understand the basics of attachment-based therapy and be able to write a treatment plan addressing several goals
  • Develop a treatment plan for your chosen population and issue using animal assisted psychotherapy
  • Be able to develop animal assisted interventions that are theory and goal-specific and can be used with your chosen population and issue
  • Develop a treatment plan that can be evaluated for its efficacy (and will be in Course 6)

Course 6: Documentation and Outcomes: Research Study

Animal Assisted Therapy, and even more so, Animal Assisted Psychotherapy is a very new field. While publications may espouse the benefits of therapies involving the Human-Animal bond, for our field to flourish and gain credibility, we need to be able to demonstrate its effectiveness.

In this course we will explore our own roles in contributing to the field of AAP with sound and effective clinical practice. Each student will either develop or adopt an appropriate efficacy measurement tool that they can utilize in working with their specific population, and their specific animal(s) (or intended population and animals). Each student will have a unique instrument to contribute to the larger body of measurement tools to share with each other through the Course Lounge.

Accurate, detailed documentation may be one of the clinicians’ greatest tools for tracking progress with clients. Students will practice using documentation in this manner, and in concert with their efficacy tools.

Lastly, each student will provide a single-subject designed study that documents and explores a specific client’s progress using your AAP tools.

Objectives

  • Students will develop or find an appropriate outcome measurement tool to use with their specific client population
  • Students will be able to use accurate and detailed documentation which supports the demonstration of progress with individual clients
  • Students will be able to write a professional level single-subject research paper documenting the progress of a specific client.

 

We reserve the right to deny enrollment to anyone that does not meet the minimum requirements or for any other reason.

AATPC has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6545. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. AATPC is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. 

CERTIFICATE REFUND POLICY: Your enrollment fees go to support our non-profit counseling center; fees go directly towards scholarships for low-income clients as well as care for our resident animals.Therefore we are unable to provide refunds for the Online Certificate Program.

Certificate of Education in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy (CAAP)

This Certificate of Education in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy was developed to provide mental health providers and students an integrated learning experience preparing them for the professional and ethical practice of Animal Assisted Psychotherapy. With an optional combination of didactic and experiential learning, participants will learn the skills involved in providing not only counseling-based animal assisted interventions, but also more depth-oriented psychotherapy-based animal assisted interventions. Our goal is to provide participants with the foundation to continue to develop their own skills, as well as to further the growing field of AAP as an important specialty within the mental health field. The cost is $2,100. More details can be found on the "Online Course- CAAP" link. 

Certificate of Education in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy, with Applied Learning (CAAPII)

Certificate participants are encouraged to attend the Animal Assisted Therapy Skills-based Training Intensive, the experiential portion of our training. By completing both parts to the training program participants will earn their Certificate of Education in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy, with Applied Learning (CAAPII). The cost for both is $3,200. 

 

Our 2018 Intensives dates:

  • Saturday May 26 - May 28, 2018
  • Friday August 17-August 19, 2018

Australia Intensive: Sign up for our newsletter to receive notification when the Intensive in New South Wales, AU is scheduled

Have Questions? Click here for answers to our most commonly asked questions.

For more information or to apply please contact our Training Director Ellen Winston at ewinston@aatpc.org or 720-266-4444 x2

  

AATPC provides training and Certification in Animal Assisted Therapy and Psychotherapy that meets the Competencies defined by the American Counseling Association (ACA). * 

Our training is specifically designed for professionals and students in the Human Services fields including

  • Psychotherapists, counselors and psychiatrists in:
    • Private practiceobstacle2
    • Community mental health
    • Residential treatment centers
    • Other counseling centers
  • Social workers
  • Case managers
  • Teachers, school psychologists and school counselors
  • Healthcare workers
    • Physicians
    • Nurses
    • Social workers
    • Discharge planners
  • Others in helping professions

 

After over 1,000 CEU hours in the course of my 30-year career, this was one of the best I’ve enjoyed. - Pam Rudat, PhD.

 

Our goal is to advance the field of Animal Assisted Psychotherapy through training qualified mental health professionals in the ethical and humane integration of animals into the therapeutic setting.

 

We offer several types of training opportunities;

AATPC's Certification Program in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy is one of the most comprehensive programs known, and attracts students from around the world. It is considered a Post-Graduate course, comprised of six (6) post-graduate level courses. Qualified students must have completed graduate level training in a mental health field and have some clinical practice. The program was specifically designed in contrast to other Certificate Programs, in that AATPC's program focuses solely on the clinical application of Animal Assisted Psychotherapy and is intended for those clinicians who wish to become Specialized in Animal Assisted Psychotherapy. Please click here for more information and to Apply to the Certificate Program.  

The 3-Day Intensive Training can be added to the Certification Program as an Experiential Component or can be a stand-alone training opportunity. These Intensives take place at our Barking C.A.A.T. Ranch in Arvada, CO (near Denver, CO) where participants enjoy learning and practicing skills with the help of our therapy animals. There are no prerequisites for the 3-Day Intensives and are appropriate for anyone interested in learning the basics of Animal Assisted Therapy. 

The videos and webinars include both basic and more advanced topics in Animal Assisted Therapy. 

For those Agencies and Organizations who are interested in training their staff in Animal Assisted Therapy or Animal Assisted Psychotherapy, AATPC trainers can come to you to provide specialized training based on your animals and client population. 

INTENSIVE CANCELLATION POLICY: Full refunds minus a $15 processing fee per workshop will be given when cancellation is requested at least 15 days prior to the workshop date. After that, a $30 processing fee per workshop will apply.

ADA Accommodations: Please contact us in advance if you require special accommodations.

CONTINUING EDUCATION is approved through NBCC for all AATPC offerings. 

* Only the Certification Program meets all the ACA competencies; the other training offerings will only partially help you meet those requirements. We highly recommend you read the ACA article linked to understand the ethical requirements as outlined by ACA. 

Barking C.A.A.T. Ranch
(Center for Animal Assisted Therapy)
7275 Kipling Street
Arvada, CO 80005
P 720-266-4444
F 720-266-4444
info@aatpc.org

 
 
 
 
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