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Animal Assisted Psychotherapy


This resource page is part of an Online Course
Animal Assisted Psychotherapy: Feline & Canine Companionship in Treatment

CE Credits for Psychologists. CE Credits (CEUs) for LMFTs, Social Workers, Counselors and Nurses.
CE Approvals by BBS-CA, ASWB, NBCC, NAADAC, CA-BRN & more.
Zur Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Zur Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its content.



Definition Clarification

  • Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT)
    Qualified, certified therapists and health care providers that employ the use of their own animal or another trained animal as a part of a therapeutic documentable treatment plan. The animals can receive similar training as those used in the activities category.
  • Animal Assisted Activities (AAA)
    Public volunteers that take personal pets to visits at places such as hospitals, schools, or nursing homes on a more casual schedule. The purpose of the visits is for socialization, comfort, and an introduction to animals.

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Online Resources



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  • Chandler, C. K. (2005). Animal assisted therapy in counseling. New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Fine, A. (Ed.). (2010). Handbook on animal-assisted therapy: Theoretical foundations and guidelines for practice (3rd Ed.). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

  • Julius, H., Beetz, A, Kotrschal, K., Tuner, D., & Uvnäs-Moberg, K. (2013). Attachment to Pets: An Integrative View of Human-Animal Relationships with Implications for Therapeutic Practice. Cambridge, MA: Hogrefe Publishing.

  • McCardle, P., McCune, S., Griffin, J. A., Esposito, L., & Freund, L. (2010). Animals in our lives: Human-animal interaction in family, community, and therapeutic settings. Baltimore, MD: Paul H Brookes.

  • Wilkes, J. K. (2009). The role of the companion animals in counseling and psychology: Discovering their uses in the therapeutic process. Springfield, IL: Charles C Thomas Pub Ltd

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  • Gullone, E. (2003). The proposed benefits of incorporating non-human animals into preventative efforts for conduct disorder. Anthrozoos, 16(2), 160-174.

  • Hanselman, J. L. (2001). Coping skills interventions with adolescents in anger management using animals in therapy. Journal of Child and Adolescent Group Therapy, 11(4), 159-195.

  • Kanamori, M., Suzuki, M., Yamamoto, K., Kanda, M., Matusui, Y., Kojima, E., Fukawa, H., Sugita, T., & Oshiro, H. (2001). A day care program and evaluation of animal- assisted therapy (AAT) for the elderly with senile dementia. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and other Dementias, 16(4), 234-239.

  • Kogan, L. R., Granger, B. P., Fitchett, J. A., Helmer, K. A., & Young, K. J. (1999). The human-animal team approach for children with emotional disorders: Two case studies. Child & Youth Care Forum, 28(2), 105-121. 219

  • Kovacs, Z., Kis, R., Rozsa, S., & Rozsa, L. (2004). Animal-assisted therapy for middle- aged schizophrenic patients living in a social institution. A pilot study. Clinical Rehabilitation, 18, 483-486.

  • Levinson, B. (1962). The dog as a "co-therapist." Mental Hygiene, 46, 59-65.

  • Marr, C. A., French, L., Thompson, D., Drum, L., Greening, G., Mormon, J., Henderson, I., & Hughes, C. W. (2000). Animal-assisted therapy in psychiatric rehabilitation. Anthrozoos, 13(1), 43-47. 220

  • Martin, F., & Farnum, J. (2002). Animal-assisted therapy for children with pervasive developmental disorders. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 24(6), 657-670.

  • Marx, M. S., Cohen-Mansfield, J., Regier, N. G., Dakheel-Ali, M., Srihari, A., & Thein, K. (2010). The impact of different dog-related stimuli on engagement of persons with dementia. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease & Other Dementias, 25(1), 37-45.

  • Petition to establish a section on human-animal studies in Division 17, Society of Counseling Psychology. (2006, Fall). American Psychological Association, Society of Counseling Psychology Newsletter, 20.

  • Richeson, N. E. (2003). Effects of animal-assisted therapy on agitated behaviors and social interactions of older adults with dementia. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, 18(6), 353-358.

  • Dr Weil - Wellness Therapies

  • Wesley, M. C., Minatrea, N. B., & Watson, J. C. (2009). Animal-assisted therapy in the treatment of substance dependence. Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People & Animals, 22, (2), 137-148.

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