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  1. Nancy Parish-Plass

    Hi Everyone!

    IAHAIO is the International Association of Human-Animal Interactions Organizations. The IAHAIO conference will be held this year in Paris on July 11-13. The website of the conference:

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, Geza Kovacs (in this forum) and I are running a "workshop" that is not really a workshop, but rather a discussion group for AAP therapists. We would like to invite all of you to join us in the discussion.

    The "early bird" registration has been extended till March 10th. Also, apparently there is a huge sporting event till the 10th and hotels will be filling up. So, better to plan ahead of time. Please tell us of you are planning to attend!

    Here is the abstract:

    The Formation of an Animal-Assisted Psychotherapy (AAP) Network within IAHAIO: Towards Definition and Professionalization of the Field

    Still in its infancy, AAP needs more study in order to develop a greater theoretical and empirical understanding of the mechanisms behind the field. AAP therapists are spread around the world, often working alone and basing their practice with the assistance of animals simply on intuition. There are few and scattered instances of small groups of therapists forming for the purpose of sharing experiences and learning from each other. Even more rare is serious academic training in AAP. Articles may be published in languages other than English, thus limiting the spread and sharing of this important knowledge. Despite general guidelines set by IAHAIO, essentially referring to AAT as an umbrella term for recognized areas of therapy which use the assistance of animals to reach their goals, a certain confusion surrounding the term AAT still exists. There remains a need to define specific fields to encourage their development. The goal of his two-hour group-discussion workshop is to create an international network of AAP therapists, concluding with a recommendation of the creation of an AAP division. Discussion topics include:

    • How such a division could lead to sharing of knowledge and experience, contributing to the development of the field of AAP;
    • The creation of clear definitions in the field of AAP;  
    • Training of AAP professionals
    • AAP in the light of various psychotherapy approaches
    • How to improve the field's standing in regard to policy makers, insurance companies, and mental health care

    All AAP therapists are invited to participate.


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  2. debbiehf ngai

    Hello Dr.Nancy and fellow, 

    Thanks for the information and invitation, I will go to IAHAIO conference in paris at July! As a representative of Hong Kong Animal Assisted Therapy Association =) 


    Looking forward to the event and your workshop! 




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  3. Nancy Parish-Plass

    Hi Everyone -

    I was happy to see that a new member to this AAP group, Jean Marie Thompson, will also be attending - and presenting at - the IAHAIO conference this summer. Jean Marie - it would be interesting if you told us what you be presenting about. And take look earlier in this thread to see the workshop I will be running with Geza Kovacs, that I hope you will be able to attend. 

    So far, Geza Kovacs, Debbie Ngai, Victor Chitic, Elizabeth Hartwig and Jean Marie Thompson will be at the conference this summer. Anyone else? 

    Maybe anyone presenting can copy-paste into this thread the abstract of their presentation or poster.


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  4. Nancy Parish-Plass

    Hi Anne -

    Wow - more and more people from this group are saying that they will be coming and be able to meet each other at the IAHAIO conference in Paris this July! I hope, Anne, to see you at the AAP workshop. And I hope I will be able to attend your seminar, also. And everyone else's. I remember meeting you at the Chicago conference. Meeting someone face-to-face makes all the difference.

    I look forward to knowing more about your Therapy Animals Bill of Rights. We, in my AAP professional organization here in Israel, are always looking for ways to improve our ethics code. (Take a look at our current one in the Resources section of this group.)

    Take care, and see you in Paris!


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