The therapeutic benefits of interaction with animals have been well-documented, and students planning careers in health care, education, or mental health professions might consider if animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is a method of treatment that they would like to explore. Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society) is the most well-known organization dedicated to training and research in the area of animal-assisted therapy. Their definition of AAT is below:
AAT is a goal-directed intervention directed and/or delivered by a health/human service professional with specialized expertise, and within the scope of practice of his/her profession. AAT is designed to promote improvement in human physical, social, emotional, and/or cognitive functioning.
Child life specialists, educators, mental health professionals, nurses, physical therapists, physicians, occupational therapists, recreation therapists, speech-language pathologists, and social workers are just some of the professionals who may choose to seek training in the area of AAT.
For more information on training programs in AAT, check out: