Animal Assisted Therapy


Animal Assisted Therapy

Picture 011Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a strategic, skill-based therapy requiring professional knowledge and experience to successfully enhance individual, group and family therapies. The AAT therapist skillfully and thoughtfully involves the animal as a part of the relationship building process; as a source of information about individual and family dynamics; as a partner in providing feedback and insight to the client(s) relative to treatment goals; and as a motivator for change.

AAT providers are Master’s level professionals with AAT certifications and/or AAT credentialed supervision. They may be CBR YouthConnect employees or contractors. Therapy goals are tailored to fit the assessed therapy needs of the youth and family; the county case plan; and any judicial directives. AAT professionals have a unique working relationship with their therapy animal(s), based on trust, respect and compassion. Modeling this interaction between therapist and therapy animal often prompts a client’s insight, motivation and subsequent engagement in therapy.

Research demonstrates that therapy goals can be accomplished more quickly when incorporating animal assisted learning into the therapeutic process. Research also shows that integrating the use of animals adds to client enjoyment; reduces the sense of threat; and promotes verbalization, especially with children.

AAT sessions are focused on specific, measurable, stated client treatment goals. The client is assessed for safety including prior history of animal cruelty, allergies and animal based fears. Frequency of AAT sessions can be adjusted based upon the therapist’s assessment of client needs.

CBR Animal Assisted Therapy is offered flexibly in homes and in appropriate community settings and can be arranged to fit family schedules. AAT is provided at an hourly rate with the length of therapy sessions determined by case circumstances. Documentation and communication per county requirements.

Animal Assisted Therapy is offered as a stand-alone therapeutic intervention and also as an integrated add-on to our Preventative Aftercare home-based services.

For more information contact:

Amanda Bicker, LPC: (303) 905-4109