Sign Up to Get information about Sales & Events Click Here

Animal/Equine Assisted Therapy

An Online Course:
Animal Assisted Psychotherapy and Counseling: Canine, Feline, & Equine Therapy

Animal Assisted Therapy

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.

Top of Page

Resources on Animal Therapy

Top of Page

References on Animal Assisted Therapy

    • American Counseling Association. (2014). ACA code of ethics. Alexandria, VA: Author.


    • Bachi, K. & Parish-Plass, N. (2017). Animal-assisted psychotherapy: A unique relational therapy for children and adolescents. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 22(1), 3-8.


    • Balluerka, N., Muela, A., Amiano, N., & Caldentey, M. (2014). Influence of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) on attachment representations of youth in residential care. Children and Youth Services Review, 42, 103-109.


    • Buttelman, D.,& Römpke, K (2014). Anxiety reducing effect: Dog, fish, and plant in direct comparison. Anthrozoös, 27(2), 267-277.


    • Chandler, C. (2012). Animal-assisted interventions and counseling theories. In C. Chandler (Ed.), Animal-assisted therapy in counseling (pp. 131-164). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group.


    • Chandler, C. K., Portrie-Bethke, T. L., Barrio Minton, C. A., Fernando, D. M., & O’Callaghan, D. M. (2010). Matching animal-assisted therapy techniques and intentions with counseling guiding theories. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 32, 354–374. doi:10.17744/mehc.32.4.u72lt21740103538


    • Clark, D. (2017) Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT): Effectiveness as a Psychotherapeutic Intervention. Furman Engaged!. 429.


    • Coren, S., (2013). How therapy dogs almost never came to exist. Psychology Today.


    • Dietz, T. J., Davis, D., & Pennings, J. (2012). Evaluating animal-assisted therapy in group treatment for child sexual abuse. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse: Research, Treatment, & Program Innovations for Victims, Survivors, & Offenders, 21(6), 665-683.


    • Engelman, S. R. (2013). Palliative care and use of animal-assisted therapy. Omega Journal of Death and Dying, 67(1-2), 63-67


    • Fine, Aubrey H. (2015) Handbook on animal-assisted therapy: Foundations and guidelines for animal-assisted interventions (4th ed.). CA, US: Elsevier Academic Press.


    • Fine, A. H. (2015). Incorporating animal-assisted therapy into psychotherapy: Guidelines and suggestions for therapists. In A. H. Fine (Ed.), Handbook on animal-assisted therapy: Theoretical foundations and guidelines for practice (4th ed., pp. 91–101). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.


    • Fung, S., & Leung, A. S. (2014). Pilot study investigating the role of therapy dogs in facilitating social interaction among children with autism. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 44(4), 253-262.


    • 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.


    • Haggerty, J. & Mueller, M. (2017). Animal-assisted stress reduction programs in higher education. Innovative Higher Education. 1-11.


    • Jenkins, C.D., Laux, J.M., Ritchie, M.H., & Tucker-Gail, K. (2014).Animal-Assisted Therapy and Rogers’ Core Components Among Middle School Students Receiving Counseling Services: A Descriptive Study. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health Vol. 9, Iss. 2, pages 174-187


    • 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.


    • 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.


    • Lubbe, C.,& Scholtz, S. (2013). The application of animal-assisted therapy in South African context: A case study. South African Journal of Psychology, 43(1), 116-129.


    • 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.


    • McCardle, P., McCune, S., Griffin, J. A., Esposito, L., & Freund, L. S (2013). Animals in our lives: Human animal interaction in family, community, and therapeutic settings. Baltimore, MD: Brooks.


    • McCune, S., Esposito, L., & Griffin, J. (2017). Introduction to a thematic series on animal assisted interventions in special populations. Applied Developmental Science, 21(2), 136-138.


    • Mills, D. & Hall, S. (2014). Animal-assisted interventions: making better use of the human-animal bond. Veterinary Record. 174, 269–273.


    • Myers, J. E. (1992). Competencies, credentialing, and standards for gerontological counselors: Implications for counselor education. Counselor Education and Supervision, 32, 34–42. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6978.1992.tb00172.x


    • Myers, J. E., & Sweeney, T. J. (1990). Gerontological competencies for counselors and human development professionals. Alexandria, VA: American Association for Counseling and Development.


    • Nepps, P., Stewart, C., & Bruckno, S.(2014). Animal-assisted activity: Effects of a complementary intervention program on psychological and physiological variables. Journal of Evidence Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 19(3), 211-215.


    • Nimer, J. & Lundahl, B., (2007). Animal-Assisted Therapy: A Meta-Analysis. Anthrozoös Vol. 20, (3).


    • O’Callaghan, D. M & Cynthia K. Chandler, C. L. (2011) An Exploratory Study of Animal-Assisted Interventions Utilized by Mental Health Professionals. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 6/2


    • Overall, C. (2017). Pets and people: The ethics of our relationships with companion animals. New York: Oxford University Press.


    • Pet Partners. (n.d.). Terminology. Retrieved from


    • 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.


    • Rabbitt, S., Kazdin, A. E., & Hong, J. (2014). Acceptability of animal-assisted therapy: Attitudes toward AAT, psychotherapy, and medication for the treatment of child disruptive behavioral problems. Anthrozoos, 27, 335–350.


    • Reichert, E. (1998). Individual counseling for sexually abused children: A role for animals and storytelling. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 15, 177–185. doi:10.1023/A:1022284418096


    • 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.


    • Signal, T., Taylor, N., Prentice, K., McDade, M., & Burke, K. (2017). Going to the dogs: A quasi-experimental assessment of animal assisted therapy for children who have experienced abuse. Applied Developmental Science, 21(2), 81-93.


    • Snipelisky, D. & Burton, M.C. (2014). Canine-assisted therapy in the inpatient setting. Southern Medical Journal 107, 265–273.


    • Stewart, L. A. (2014). Competencies in animal assisted therapy in counseling: A qualitative investigation of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required of competent animal assisted therapy practitioners (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from


    • Stewart, L. A., Chang, C. Y., & Jaynes, A. (2013, May). Creature comforts. Counseling Today, 52–57.


    • Stewart,L.A.,Chang,C.Y.,& Rice,R. (2013). Emergent theory and model of practice in animal-assisted therapy incounseling. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 8, 329–348. doi:10.1080/15401383.2013.844657


    • Stewart, L.A. Chang, C.Y. Parker, L.K., & Grubbs, N. (2016). Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling Competencies. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association, Animal-Assisted Therapy in Mental Health Interest Network.


    • Stewart, L.A., Chang, C.Y., Rice, R. (2013). Emergent Theory and Model of Practice in Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health.


    • Tran-Lien, A (2017) Working Like a Dog Legal Considerations for Therapy Dogs. The Therapist, Sept./Oct. 68-70.


    • Yorke, J., Adams, C., & Coady, N. (2008). Therapeutic value of equine–human bonding in recovery from trauma. Anthrozoös, 21, 17–30. doi:10.2752/089279308X274038


    • Wesley, M. C., Minatrea, N. B., & Watson, J. C. (2009). Animal-assisted therapy in the treatment of substance dependence. Anthrozoös, 22, 137–148. doi:10.2752/175303709X434167


    • 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


    • Yap, E., Scheinberg, A., & Williams, K. (2017). Attitudes to and beliefs about animal assisted therapy for children with disabilities. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 26, 47-52.


  • Zilcha-Mano, S., Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. (2011). Pet in the therapy room: an attachment perspective on Animal-Assisted Therapy. Attachment & Human Development, 13(6), 541-561.

Top of Page

Equine-Assisted Therapy

Online Resources

  • A list of abstracts for juried articles and articles from non-juried publications on Horsemanship & the Horse, Equine Assisted Activities & Therapies, Hippotherapy and Equine Assisted Mental Health & Learning
  • NARHA is now officially the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) Over the years this change became necessary as the previous name did not adequately convey what the organization has grown to become. EFMA is no longer its own entity, but rather incorporated into PATH.
  • Molly DePrekel MA LP has co-authored 5 manuals complete with activities and suggestions for groups including those with self-esteem issues, anger management issues, and survivors of sexual assault.
  • Claire Dorotik-Nana MA LMFT has been a contributing writer on exercise and mood for Trail Runner and Her Sports magazines, as well as a course author for several education courses at International Sport Science Association. Claire will be releasing her first three books, KIDS BORN THIN: A Parents’ Guide To Understanding and Preventing Childhood Obesity, ON THE BACK OF THE HORSE: Harnessing The Healing Power Of The Human-Equine Bond, and NO SECRET SO CLOSE: A true story of a father’s murder, a mother’s betrayal, a family torn apart, and the horses that turned it all around, in Kindle edition.

Top of Page


Centers, Clinics and Organizations

Top of Page


References on Equine Assisted Therapy

  • Bachi, K. (2013). Application of attachment theory to equine-facilitated psychotherapy. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 43, 187-196.
  • Bexson, T. (2008) Horse Sense, Mental Health Today, February 2008, pp. 16-17.
  • Bizub, A., Joy, A., and Davidson, L. (2003) “Its like being in another world”: Demonstrating the Benefits of Therapeutic Horseback Riding for Individuals with Psychiatric Disability. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 26 (4): 377-384.
  • Bowers, M. and MacDonald, P. (2001) The Effectiveness of Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy with At-Risk Adolescents. Journal of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, 15: 62-76.
  • Brandt, C.(2013). Equine facilitated psychotherapy as a complementary treatment intervention. The Practitioner Scholar: Journal of Counseling and Professional Psychology, 2, 23-42.
  • Broersma, P. & Houston, J. (2008). Riding into Your Mythic Life: Transformational Adventures with the Horse. Novato, CA: New World Library.
  • Burgon, H. (2003) Case studies of adults receiving horse riding therapy. Anthrozoos, 16 (3): 263- 276.
  • Carlsson, C., Nilsson Ranta., D. & Traeen, B. (2015). Mentalizing and emotional labor facilitate Equine-assisted Social Work with self-harming adolescents. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 32(4), 329-339.
  • Chardonnens, E. (2009) The Use of Animals as Co-Therapists on a Farm: The Child-Horse Bond in Person-Centred Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy. Person Centred and Experimental Psychotherapies, 8 (4): 319-332.
  • Cody, P. Holleran-Steiker, L., & Szymandera, M. (2011). Equine therapy: Substance abusers healing through horses. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 11(2), 198-204.
  • Cohen, R. A. (2011). Exploring multicultural considerations in equine facilitated psychotherapy (Order No. 3516479). ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text.
  • Cumella, E. Lutter, C. Smith-Osborne, A. & Kally, Z. (2014). Equine therapy in the treatment of female eating disorders. SOP Transactions on Psychology, 1(19), 13-21.
  • Dabelko-Schoeny, H. Phillips, G., Darrough, E. DeAnna, S., Jarden, M., Johndon, D., & Lorch, G. (2014). Equine-assisted intervention for people with dementia. Anthrozoos: A multidisciplinary Journal of the Interactions of People & Animals, 27(1), 141-155.
  • Ewing, C., MacDonald, P., Taylor, M. and Bowers, J. (2007) Equine-Facilitated Learning for Youths with Severe Emotional Disorders: A Quantitative and Qualitative Study. Child Youth Care Forum, 36: 59-72.
  • Filippides, N. C. (2016). Beyond the couch: A psychoanalytic approach to equine assisted psychotherapy (Order No. 10261714). ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text.
  • Fine, A. (2010). Handbook on animal-assisted therapy: theoretical foundations and guidelines for practice, 3rd Edition. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
  • Frame, D. (2006) Practices of Therapists Using Equine Facilitated/Assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Adolescents Diagnosed with Depression: A Qualitative Study. Doctoral Thesis. New York University.
  • Frewin, K. and Gardiner, B. (2005) New Age or Old Sage: A Review of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. Australian Journal of Counselling Psychology, 6: 13-17 .
  • Gomez, I. B. (2016). Evaluating a program of equine therapy for veterans with PTSD symptoms (Order No. 10119467). ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text.
  • Hallberg, L. (2008). Walking the Way of the Horse: Exploring the Power of the Horse-Human Relationship. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse.
  • HM Prison Service (2004) Horses for courses. Prison Service News, available online at 6,18,3,18,0,0 [accessed on 16.6.201.
  • Irwin, C. (2005) Dancing with your Dark Horse: How Horse Strength Helps Us Find Balance, Strength And Wisdom. New York: Marlowe and Company.
  • Isaacson, R. (2009) Horse Boy: A Father’s Miraculous Journey To Heal His Son. London: Viking/Penguin Books.
  • Iwachiw, J. S. (2017). A powerful approach or the power of horses: Is equine-assisted psychotherapy an effective technique or the natural effect of horses? (Order No. 10273742). ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text.
  • Kaiser, L., Spence, J., Lavergne, A. And Bosch, K. (2004) Can a week of therapeutic riding make a difference? – A pilot study. Anthrozoos, 17 (1): 63-72.
  • Kaiser, L., Smith, K., Heleski, C. and Spence, L. (2006) Effects of a therapeutic riding program on at-risk and special educational children. Journal of American Medical Association, 228 (1): 46-52.
  • Karol, J. (2007) Applying a Traditional Individual Psychotherapy Model to Equine-facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP): Theory and Method. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 12: 77-90.
  • Kirby, M. (2010) Gestalt Equine Psychotherapy. Gestalt Journal of Australia and New Zealand. 6 (2): 60-68.
  • Klontz, B., Bivens, A., Leinart, D. and Klontz, T. (2007) The Effectiveness of Equine-Assisted Experiential Therapy: Results of an Open Clinical Trial. Society and Animals, 15: 257-267.
  • Kohanov, L. (2007). The Tao of Equus: A Woman’s Journey of Healing and Transformation Through the Way of the Horse. Novato, CA: New World Library.
  • Lac, V. (2016). Horsing around: Gestalt equine psychotherapy as Humanistic play therapy. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 56(2), 194-209.
  • Lee, P. (2014). From traditional to equine-assisted psychotherapy: Mental health practitioners’ experiences (Order No. 3635643). ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text.
  • Lentini, J. and Knox, M. (2009) A Qualitative and Quantitative Review of Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) with Children and Adolescents. The Open Complementary Medicine Journal, 1: 51-57.
  • Loeffler, M. (2016). Attachment theory and an equine prison-based animal program: A case study (Order No. 10017576). ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text.
  • Marchetti, G. M. (2016). Healing the soul through nature: Equine facilitated Psychotherapy—Not just horsing around (Order No. 10278524). ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text.
  • Maujean, A., Kendall, E., Roquet, L., Sharp, T., & Pringle, G. (2013). Connecting for health: Playing with horses as a therapeutic tool. Journal of Community Psychology, 41, 515-522.
  • Mayfield, M. A. (2016). Equine facilitated psychotherapy for veteran survivors with full or partial PTSD (Order No. 10243892). ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text.
  • McCormick, A.& McCormick, M. (1997). Horse Sense and the Human Heart: What Horses Can Teach Us About Trust, Bonding, Creativity and Spirituality. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc.
  • Meinersmann, K., Bradberry, J. and Bright Roberts, F. (2008) Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy with Adult Female Survivors of Abuse. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing, 46 (12): 36-42 .
  • Moreau, L. (2001) Outlaw Riders: Equine-facilitated therapy with juvenile capital offenders, Reaching Today’s Youth, 5 (2): 27-30 available online at online/cycol-0405-outlawriders.html.
  • Nussen, J. (2012). Soul Recovery: equine assisted activities for healing from abuse by others, loss of others & loss of self. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
  • O’Brien, C. W. (2016). Equine assisted psychotherapy & the equine assisted growth and learning association model: A theoretical approach to understanding the therapeutic intervention of the horse (Order No. 10124819). ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text.
  • Parent, I. (2016). The fundamentals of Equine assisted trauma therapy: With practical examples from working with members of the armed forces. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
  • Provencher, K. J. (2015). Second chances Colorado: An equine-assisted psychotherapy program for Colorado inmates (Order No. 3716164). ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text.
  • Roberts, M. (2000) Horse Sense for People. London: HarperCollins .
  • Robson, H. A. (2016). Equine assisted psychotherapy: A critical review of the literature (Order No. 10253697). ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text.
  • Schultz, P., Remick-Barlow, G. and Robbins, L. (2007) Equine-assisted Psychotherapy: a mental health promotion/intervention modality for children who have experienced intra-family violence. Health and Social Care in the Community, 15 (3): 265-271.
  • Selby, A., & Smith-Osborne, A. (2013). A systematic review of effectiveness of complementary and adjunct therapies and interventions involving equines. Health Psychology, 32, 418-432.
  • Sheade, H. E. (2015). Effectiveness of relational equine-partnered counseling (REPC) on reduction of symptoms of PTSD in military veterans: A single case design (Order No. 10034403). ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text.
  • Smith-Osborne, A. and Selby, A. (2010) Implications of the Literature on Equine-Assisted Activities for Use as a Complementary Intervention in Social Work Practice with Children and Adolescents. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 27 (4):291–307.
  • Thomas, L., & Lytle, M (2016). Transforming therapy through horses: Case stories teaching the EAGLA model in action. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
  • Trotter, K. (2012). Harnessing the Power of Equine Assisted Counseling: Adding Animal Assisted Therapy to Your Practice. New York, NY: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Vidrine, M., Owen-Smith, P. and Faulkner, P. (2002) Equine-Facilitated Group Psychotherapy: applications for therapeutic Vaulting. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 23 (6): 587-603.
  • Wilson, K., Buultiends, M., Monfrieds, M., & Karimi, L., (2017). Equine-assisted psychotherapy for adolescents experiencing depression/and or anxiety: A therapist’s perspective. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 22(1), 16-33.
  • Yorke, J., Adams, C. and Coady. N (2008) Therapeutic Value of Equine-Human Bonding in Recovery from Trauma. Anthrozoos, 21 (1): 17-30.

Top of Page