Wellness Care Farm
Formal AATC training. Providers of AATC are expected to acquire AATC-specific training, assessment, and supervision, including:
In-depth animal knowledge. Providers of AATC are knowledgeable about their therapy animal on an individual, breed, and species level, including:
Knowledge of existing ethical requirements. Providers of AATC demonstrate integrated ethics. Thus, competent providers of AATC are aware of AATC-specific ethical considerations and are able to incorporate AATC practice within the ACA Code of Ethics, with actions that include:
Mastery of basic counseling skills. Competent providers of AATC demonstrate competency in general counseling skills prior to integrating AATC interventions. AATC is practiced only within the boundaries of a provider’s professional scope of practice.
Intentionality. Competent providers of AATC demonstrate intentional incorporation of AATC into the counseling relationship, plan, and process. Providers are able to demonstrate:
Specialized skill set. Competent providers of AATC recognize that AATC is a specialty area with a learned and practiced skill set. Competent AATC providers demonstrate specialized skills and abilities that are appropriate to the specialty area of AATC, including:
Animal advocacy. Competent providers of AATC prioritize their responsibility to animals involved in AATC and demonstrate that they are effective animal advocates by:
Professional development. Competent providers of AATC continue the development of their AATC skills by:
Professional values. Competent providers of AATC strive toward AATC-specific professional values, including:
American Counseling Association. (2014). ACA code of ethics. Alexandria, VA: Author.
Chandler, C. K. (2012). Animal assisted therapy in counseling (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
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
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.
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.
Pet Partners. (n.d.). Terminology. Retrieved from https://petpartners.org/learn/terminology/ 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
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 http://scholarworks.gsu.edu/
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 in counseling. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 8, 329–348. doi:10.1080/15401383.2013.844657
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
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
Animal-Assisted Therapy in Counselling Competencies full report.