This training is designed for child, adult, and family therapists who wish to train and work with therapy animals to enhance their play therapy and other clinical work.
The workshop provides an overview of the human-animal bond literature, animal-assisted therapy, research, and the integration of animal-assisted therapy with play therapy. Emphasis will be placed on dogs, with special segments on horses. Participants learn how to select and train dogs for this work, as well as why positive, behavioral, and relationship-oriented methods of training are especially useful.
Emphasis is on the use of client-animal play interactions for therapeutic benefit. Many specific animal-assisted play therapy interventions are covered, including the involvement of animals in both nondirective and directive play therapy and other forms of psychotherapy, and ways to incorporate families and groups. Application of AAPT to numerous types of client problems are covered. Working with dogs to help children in foster and residential placements is highlighted as well.
The equine segments introduce participants to different models of equine assisted psychotherapy, some of which do not require therapists to have horses of their own. The training highlights similarities in the relationship-oriented approach with both canines and equines, and the value of play.
The workshop gives participants a chance to explore this exciting, emerging field and learn how to develop, implement, and research their own programs. Ideas on working collaboratively with therapy dog handlers and trainers, as well as equine specialists, are included. Lecture material is illustrated with numerous video examples, live demonstrations, and skills practice. The workshop is limited to 18 participants. This training is for people only. Dogs and horses will be present and available for demonstrations and practice segments.