Animal Assisted Play Therapy: Relationships and Applications(Level 2)

Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC
Tracie Faa-Thompson, MA, AASW, PGdipNDPT


  • June 6-9 – Lowick, Northumberland UK
  • August 16-19 – Seattle/Woodinville, Washington USA
  • October 3-6 – Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania USA

Lodging and travel information will be provided with email confirmations.



This workshop has limited seating.
Please register early!

Who Should Attend

This training program is designed for play therapists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, psychiatrists, family therapists, school counselors, and other experienced mental health, medical, allied health, and educational professionals. The training is relevant to a wide range of clinical, developmental, and educational problems for clients throughout the lifespan. Canine and equine professionals interested in the topic are also welcome to attend. This is an advanced-level training.   All must have completed the AAPT Level 1 training prior to attending the Level 2!


This workshop offers a second-level training in Animal Assisted Play Therapy. Dog interactive sessions with your own dog will occur in segments throughout the workshop, with resting periods for the dogs at other times. Lectures, videos, discussions, and planning sessions will occur between the dog training segments. Role-plays of play sessions will include your own dogs or a demo dog, as well as some options with horses.

Participants will build on their dog handling skills relevant to therapy work, as well as learn how to (a) develop a strong and mutual relationship with their dogs, (b) train their dogs for play therapy work using positive methods, (c) plan, train, and implement a variety of dog tricks or games for play therapy, (d) facilitate nondirective and directive play therapy sessions with dogs and/or horses, (e) debrief groups or families after AAPT activities, (f) develop effective risk-management policies, (g) read and react to canine and equine signaling as it occurs during play sessions, (h) link AAPT interventions with therapeutic goals, (i) promote the use of AAPT, and (j) resolve common difficulties in the professional practice of AAPT. The workshop will also provide ample opportunity for participants to discuss their progress and obstacles in the use of AAPT to date and to resolve common problems. This workshop is designed to be flexible, with the needs of participants in mind. Please let your needs be known so that we can plan workshop time around them!!

This course has limited enrollment for people and their dogs. “Loaner” dogs are available for those unable to travel with their own. Upon registration, a listing of resource materials will be suggested for preparation, plus information about the prerequisites. Dogs must meet the requirements below. If there are questions about this, please contact Dr. VanFleet via email at

AAPT2_image005Prerequisites – Human & Dog!

Participants must first have attended the four-day Animal Assisted Play Therapy Level 1 Training and have completed an online course on Canine Behavior & Training (included in fees, although purchase of the textbook is separate. Access to online course provided after registration.).

Dogs must be trained with reward-based methods and be well-behaved, non-reactive around other dogs, and socialized well with a variety of people, dogs, and situations. Completion of the CGC or C.L.A.S.S. or similar “good behavior” credential encouraged but not required. Please discuss any questions or problems with Dr. VanFleet at the time you register. You will be asked to complete a checklist of dog behavior and submit a video of your dog (may be waived if you have shown supervision videos including your dog).

Special Needs

We are committed to making workshops accessible to everyone. Please contact us if you have special needs as early in the process as possible. Workshops are generally held in a country environment with contact with dogs, horses, and other animals.


The training runs daily from 9:00 am to 5:45 pm, with a slightly earlier dismissal on the last day. There are 28 actual training hours, and the online course has 10 clock hours, for a total of 38 CE credits/clock hours for the entire program. Another online course will be added in the future at no additional charge.

Continuing Education

The Family Enhancement & Play Therapy Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The FEAPT Center maintains responsibility for this program and its contents. The Family Enhancement & Play Therapy Center is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (5732) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The FEAPT Center solely is responsible for all aspects of the program. It is also an Association for Play Therapy (APT) Approved Provider 95-014. This program has been approved by a number of state social work boards (please contact us for this info). 28 continuing education credits/clock hours will be awarded to participants who attend the entire training. Partial credit cannot be given. No exceptions can be made to this policy. Please contact us re. various canine and equine credits, which are likely to be offered. Credit for the online courses is awarded separately at 10 CE credits/clock hours each.



The training will involve work with dogs and horses in a rural environment, including outdoors. Please dress comfortably with this in mind. Rain gear and footwear for muddy areas are also advised. Closed-toed shoes are mandatory for the equine segments.

Fees & Cancellation – Discounted Package

Package includes registration fees for 1-2 online courses (10 CE credits each) and the 4-day live AAPT Level 1 workshop (28 CE credits). Participants in the Level 2 training will receive a second online course when it is completed at no additional charge.

Early Bird Fee: $ 935 (fully paid 4 months prior)

Regular Fee:   $1060 (paid within 4 months of workshop start)

Cancellation Policy:

$275 of the registration fee is nonrefundable. Registrations are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. Fees include 4 days of training, handout book, 2 online courses, morning and afternoon snacks and beverages. Lunches/dinners are on your own.

$275 is nonrefundable. Written cancellations received 4 months prior to the start of the workshop will receive a full refund of the balance of the fees. Cancellations after the 4-month point will forfeit a total of $385, with the remainder being refunded.

We regret that NO refunds can be given in the final month preceding the workshop. When someone from the waiting list can substitute, credit toward future trainings may be given. We urge you to consider purchasing travel or other insurance to protect against unforeseen circumstances.

In the very unlikely event that the workshop must be cancelled or postponed by the organizers, the International Institute for AAPT and its assigns will provide a full refund of the registration fees. Participants will be responsible for their own travel fees, another reason to consider purchasing travel insurance. To date, a workshop has never been cancelled.


Dr. Risë VanFleet and Tracie Faa-Thompson – please click on their names to see their bios under the About section on the main menu bar.


Registration: Level 2 AAPT Workshop
Register early as this workshop often sells out quickly!

To register securely online: visit our online store

If you wish to pay by U.S. check, please download the brochure, complete the form, and submit it with a U.S. check only, payable to “Family Enhancement & Play Therapy Center, Inc.” to the following address:

International Institute for Animal Assisted Play Therapy
Attn: Dr. Risë VanFleet
PO Box 613, Boiling Springs, PA 17007

Questions? Please contact Dr. VanFleet at the address above, or at 717-249-4707 (USA), or