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Animal Assisted Play Therapy

Credits: None available.

This book is the culmination of the authors combined 75 years of experience working with animals as a part of their therapeutic practice. Professional practitioners, as well as the paraprofessionals who work in tandem with them, will find this book of enormous value. While the focus is on mental health professionals, the approach and methods covered can easily be adapted for use by allied health professionals, such as physical, occupational, speech, and recreational therapists as well as those in the educational field such as teachers and school counselors. Animal Assisted Play Therapy™ (AAPT) adds the elements of playfulness, humor, and lightness to the therapeutic process, and can be helpful for clients of all ages. It focuses heavily on relationships: how the relationship between therapist and animal must be developed in positive, mutually respectful ways in which the animals have a voice and choice whenever possible. This in turn provides a model for clients to help them strengthen their own relationships, not only with therapy animals and their own companion animals, but within the human relationships in their families and communities. The authors demonstrate how the techniques can be readily applied for dogs, horses, cats, and other animals. Many illustrative case examples are included.

Play Therapy Primary Areas:
  • History
  • Seminal / Historically Significant Theories
  • Skills and Methods
  • Special Topics

Learning Objectives:

  • Review the historical and theoretical background of Animal Assisted Play Therapy and animal types and characteristics most often utilized
  • Address common misconceptions regarding the use of animals in therapeutic settings
  • Identify the training requirements/ethical considerations required to become an Animal Assisted Play Therapist
  • Develop an understanding of the unique characteristics which define and structure the therapist/animal relationship
  • Identify how AAPT is beneficial with culturally diverse populations for assisting with child, adult and family constellation and needs
  • Identify non-directive and directive Play Therapy interventions most commonly used in AAPT


  • 10.00 - CE Hours/Credits