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Title: Introduction to Animal Assisted Play Therapy

When: Ongoing

Where: Online


CPDT-KSA Knowledge:5CBCC-KSA Knowledge:5
CPDT-KSA Skills:0CBCC-KSA Skills:0


This online course is designed to provide a brief introduction to Animal Assisted Play Therapy (AAPT), a form of therapy for children, adolescents, families, and adults. It integrates Animal Assisted Therapy with play therapy, and it's useful for a wide range of human psychosocial problems. The course is designed both for therapists as well as dog trainers/behaviorists who are working with therapists to prepare dogs for this type of work or to resolve behavior problems that therapy dogs might have. Dog trainers and behaviorists are welcome to attend all our trainings, as we need a community of canine professionals to support the therapy work we are doing, and to assist therapists who wish to become certified in AAPT. The course covers the importance of the human-animal bond, the developmental and psychological relevance of nonhuman animals to children (and adults), an overview of animal play and its importance, the guiding principles, specific goal areas that are address, and a detailed description of the types of behaviors, skills, and temperaments needed by dogs who are involved in this type of work. AAPT is unique and requires a different skill set by dogs than other forms of therapy work. Dog trainers and behaviorists are needed to assist therapist/handlers. Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to... 1. define AAPT and how it differs from other AAT modalities. 2. describe the importance of play for development (children and dogs), and define play therapy. 3. describe what is meant by each of the Guiding Principles of AAPT (that include a great deal about dog welfare) and why each is important. 4. explain why the dog's welfare is equally important to that of the human client. 5. identify five primary goal areas for AAPT work. 6. list the key skills needed by both the human and the dog to assure quality AAPT work. 7. discuss the pros/cons of using rescued/adopted dogs in AAPT. 8. describe at least 4 different specific interventions involvi

Sponsor: Playful Pooch Program

Speaker(s): Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC

Contact: Risë VanFleet, PhD, CDBC
 Phone: 717-249-4707