Introduction to Animal Assisted Play Therapy



Product Description


Presenter/Author: Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC

Description: This course provides an overview of Animal Assisted Play Therapy™ (AAPT), a therapeutic approach that fully integrates play therapy and Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT). It is most often used to treat a wide range of child, adolescent, and family psychosocial problems, and it can be appropriate for groups and adults of all ages. The course provides the definition of AAPT, guiding principles and values, goal areas, samples of methods and interventions used, welfare of animals involved in AAPT, and an overview of applications and ethics of this promising approach. This course is intended as an introduction only, not as an in-depth training program. People completing the course should have a broad view of the possibilities and procedures for AAPT, but should not begin the practice of AAPT based upon this single course.

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this course. This course does serve as one of the prerequisites for the 4-day live skills-building course, Animal Assisted Play Therapy, Level 1.

Learning Objectives: Participants in this course will be able to…

  1. define Animal Assisted Play Therapy and describe how it differs from other Animal Assisted Therapy modalities.
  2. define play therapy and how it differs from other child or family therapy interventions.
  3. describe what is meant by each of the Guiding Principles of AAPT and why each one is important.
  4. explain why the animal’s welfare is equally important to that of the client.
  5. identify five primary goal areas for AAPT work.
  6. list the key components for having a dog involved in play therapy work.
  7. describe the major forms of play therapy within which AAPT can be applied.
  8. explain at least 5 different AAPT interventions.
  9. describe the 3 criteria that must be met for dressing up an animal in an ethical and humane manner.
  10. list the sequence with which one debriefs a group after an AAPT activity.
  11. list the qualities that go into a healthy therapist-animal relationship
  12. describe what the 3-second rule is and how to conduct it.

Required Reading:

VanFleet, R., & Faa-Thompson, T. (2017). Animal Assisted Play Therapy. Sarasota, FL: Professional Resource Press. (This is available for separate purchase online from the publisher. Read the reviews.)

Continuing Education Credits: 14

Cost: $25

Time Period: This is a password-protected course. The password is changed at the start of each calendar year. You may renew your access to the course one time. Please contact Dr. VanFleet at at the end of the year and request the password for the next period. This means that, depending on when you register, you will have a total of 12 months to complete the course. After that, there will be additional fees to re-register for the course.


Delivery will be made as quickly as possible, but please allow 1-2 weeks, depending on Dr. VanFleet's travel schedule.