In-Person & Telehealth Options Available
Low-fee option for qualified individuals
Animal Assisted Psychotherapy (AAP) is the integration of an animal as an adjunct to traditional counseling or psychotherapy. The animal works with the therapist within a specified treatment plan and interventions are designed with the specific client and specific animal in mind to achieve a particular therapeutic goal. Historically, Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) has been used primarily in institutional, school or residential settings with volunteer handlers and their animals. However, it is becoming more common for therapists and counselors to specifically train and include their own pets with clients directly without the use of the intermediary volunteer handler. We choose to use the term Animal Assisted Psychotherapy (AAP) to differentiate the work of mental health clinicians working with animals from that of volunteer teams. True AAP requires that the animal and handler be trained, that the professional is working within their scope of practice and experience, and that the interventions are goal-directed.