While therapy animal programming that is offered by volunteer handlers provides an invaluable service to communities across the globe, there is also a growing body of practitioners who aim to incorporate the healing benefits of animals into their professionalized settings. A wide range of vocational domains are represented in this space, spanning professions such as mental health, allied health, education, and medicine.
We are deeply committed to helping these professionals best integrate therapy animals into their practice as a safe and ethical treatment modality capable of benefitting all who are involved in the intervention. Motivated by a desire to comprehend the state of animal-assisted interventions (AAI) in professionalized settings so that we can best support the professionalization and standardization of the intervention, we set out on a series of organizational research projects to answer these questions. Through this effort, major gaps in services were identified, and future directions for the field were made clear.
Our new publication, The State of Animal-Assisted Interventions in Professionalized Settings, provides an overview of this foundational research and the process, details key findings, and provides information on the actions we are taking to address the needs of professionals working in AAI.
We will continue to provide information about our activities designed for AAI professionals. Sign up for our AAI for Professionals newsletter to stay up to date.