Animal-Assisted Therapy and the Healing Power of Pets

By Deirdre Rand, PhD

Animal Assisted Therapy and The Healing Power of PetsAnimal-Assisted Therapy and the Healing Power of Pets is a new 3-hour online CEU course that details the author’s journey with her animal companions, sharing the lessons, challenges and rewards of learning how to utilize the healing power of pets in therapeutic practice. Also discussed are temperament, socialization and training; the role of the neurohormone oxytocin in strengthening the human-companion animal bond; the founding of the three major organizations which register volunteer handler/therapy teams, along with the contributions of key historic figures in developing animal-assisted therapy as we know it today; examples of animal-assisted interventions with dogs, cats and other animals; and attributes of a great therapy animal and a great handler. Course #30-85 | 2016 | 45 pages | 26 posttest questions | 3 Hours CE | $39

If you love animals and are interested in learning how you and your patients/clients can benefit by adding them to your practice, this new course is for you!

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About the Author:

Deirdre Rand, PhD, is a psychologist in private practice in Mill Valley, California. She is best known for her work in the field of parent alienation in divorce and helped create the Family Bridges Workshop for repairing severely damaged parent-child relationships.

Deirdre first began utilizing a canine assistant in her therapy practice in the 1970s, when she and her husband received an Australian Cattle Dog puppy as a gift from Dr. Aline Kidd and the Reverend Robert Kidd, who presided over their wedding.

Cattle Dogs have been part of Deirdre’s life ever since. Most of these were rescues with temperament and socialization issues which could be challenging.

In 2009, Deirdre and her husband adopted a dog named Bella, who was the most challenging of all. Bella had a sweetness about her, and a rare aesthetic gift, but her behavioral issues were too much for Deirdre and her husband to manage on their own. Under the guidance of a professional dog trainer, Deirdre learned how to work with Bella and her bond with Bella grew. Ultimately, it was this experience with Bella which inspired Deirdre to make animal-assisted therapy and the healing power of pets an important part of her work.

Course Directions:

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion.

CE Information:

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB #1046, ACE Program); the Florida Boards of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling (#BAP346) and Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

Animal Assisted Therapy Approved for ASHA CEUs

Animal Assisted TherapyIn Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) the human-animal bond is utilized to help meet therapeutic goals and reach individuals who are otherwise difficult to engage in verbal therapies. AAT is considered an emerging therapy at this time, and more research is needed to determine the effects and confirm the benefits. Nevertheless, there is a growing body of research and case studies that illustrate the considerable therapeutic potential of using animals in therapy. AAT has been associated with improving outcomes in four areas: autism-spectrum symptoms, medical difficulties, behavioral problems, and emotional well-being. This course is designed to provide therapists, educators, and caregivers with the information and techniques needed to begin using the human-animal bond successfully to meet individual therapeutic goals.

Course #20-62 | 2012 | 30 pages | 20 posttest questions
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Animal Assisted Therapy – New Online Course!

Animal Assisted Therapy

Click to view course details

In Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) the human-animal bond is utilized to help meet therapeutic goals and reach individuals who are otherwise difficult to engage in verbal therapies. AAT is considered an emerging therapy at this time, and more research is needed to determine the effects and confirm the benefits. Nevertheless, there is a growing body of research and case studies that illustrate the considerable therapeutic potential of using animals in therapy. AAT has been associated with improving outcomes in four areas: autism-spectrum symptoms, medical difficulties, behavioral problems, and emotional well-being. This course is designed provide therapists, educators, and caregivers with the information and techniques needed to begin using the human-animal bond successfully to meet individual therapeutic goals.

The author, Lois Jean Brady, MA, CCC-SLP, is a practicing speech-language pathologist registered in animal-assisted therapy. She has a very loveable potbelly pig named Buttercup who accompanies her to therapy sessions, where he enhances her work with students on the spectrum. Buttercup has made a lasting impression on students, staff, and caregivers – essentially all who meet him. He has helped some students attain their goals and others just feel safer and more secure in the therapy environment, allowing them to focus their attention on a task. He has heard many students utter their first words, start conversations, or ask questions. He has been combed, brushed, fed, and cared for by many students. Lois has found that having an animal creates an atmosphere of trust that motivates children to expand their skills, strive to do their best, and strengthen the relationship between them and her.

Rosy Chu interviews Lois and Buttercup on KTVU Bay Area People: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9ypo0GzPkUs

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