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AAPT Virtual Conference

The Fourth Annual
Sponsored by the International Institute for AAPT® and the International Association for AAPT™

Now Available as an Online Course!

On April 17-18, 2024 (Wednesday-Thursday), our 4th annual Animal Assisted Play Therapy® conference was held online, with 6 presentations each day for a total of 12 distance learning CE credits. The full schedule and descriptions are in this flyer.

This year’s program features our wonderful and highly experienced Certified AAPT Instructors and Instructors-in-Training. They have selected a wide range of interesting topics that cover the lifespan of animals’ therapy work, including the preparation for therapy work, the involvement of different species, AAPT principles in action, case examples, combinations of AAPT with other intervention methods, retirement, competencies needed by therapists, and more! This year, presenters join us from the UK, throughout the USA, and Taiwan. 

AAPT emphasizes relationships and animal well-being throughout the therapy process. The workshops are designed to show AAPT in practical terms. Most will feature a 40-minute presentation and videos, along with a short live discussion period after each. 

An outline of the schedule with workshop titles and presenters is followed by more detailed information about each in this flyer. If you need continuing education credits, please be sure to read our CE statement. CE is available only for those who register for it (an additional fee), complete an assessment, submit a satisfaction survey, and attend the full conference. Learning objectives are listed at the end. 

After the completion of the conference, access to recordings of the presentations will be made available to those who have registered for the conference prior to April 15. They will not include the discussion portions.

Conference Description
Quality Presentations
Day 1
Conference Schedule
Day 2
Conference Schedule
Continuing Education
earn CE credits
and Policies

This conference is designed to familiarize attendees with many facets of Animal Assisted Play Therapy®, a multimodal, transdisciplinary intervention with wide applicability to assist clients and students in reaching their clinical, medical, or educational goals. It is a theoretically integrative approach that focuses on healthy, reciprocal, mutually-beneficial relationships at its core. It also highlights the importance of animal welfare and well-being, and one of its requirements is that the animals must actually enjoy, not merely tolerate the interactions. AAPT can be used with clients of all ages, families, and groups. A variety of different species can be involved. There is a growing body of research that shows the value of AAPT as well. Join us for our 4th annual stimulating and informative virtual conference! 

17 April 2024

10:00–10:15amWelcome, Announcements, Orientation
10:15–11:05Curious Calico or Talkative Tabby? Assessing Your Animal’s Appropriateness for AAPT WorkJacque George
11:05–11:55Preparing Your Canine for Nondirective Animal Assisted Play Therapy® Dr. Mary Rottier & Dr. Jennifer Main
11:55–12:45 pmNo Office? No Problem! Taking Animal Assisted Play Therapy® on the RoadCyndie Kieffer
1:15–2:05The Combined Use of EMDR and Animal Assisted Play Therapy® Compatibility & ApplicationsJeri Yingling
2:05–2:55What Is My Horse Saying and Why Does It Matter?Ann Elliot
2:55–3:45ABCs and 123s: Applying Animal Assisted Play Therapy® Principles in SchoolsJennifer Ganz

18 April 2024

10:00–10:15amAnnouncements, Explanation of Continuing Education Process
10:15–11:05AAPT Group Application in School Settings: A Journey of a Healing Dog and Elementary School Students in TaiwanPei-Jyun, Chen & Shih-Yin, Wu
11:05–11:55Just Let It Play Out: A Look at Animal Assisted Play Therapy® in Action Emily Boatwright
11:55–12:45pmWorth More Than a Guinea: The Value of Guinea Pigs in AAPTDr. Mary Rottier
1:15–2:05Collaboration in AAPT: Working as a Team Across Therapy and Alternative EducationSheli Brown & Carly McCarthy
2:05–2:55Retirement and/or Death of the Therapy Animal: Helping Clients and Therapists Through the Grieving ProcessTeri Holamon
2:55–3:45Competencies Needed for Animal Assisted Play Therapy® & Other Animal-Assisted Services What They Are, Why They Are Needed, How to Learn and Demonstrate Them
(examples for dogs, horses, and other species)Dr. Risë VanFleet & Tracie Faa-Thompson, Co-creators of AAPT

Continuing Education Credits

The Family Enhancement & Play Therapy Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  The FEAPT Center maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.  The Family Enhancement & Play Therapy Center is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (5732) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements.  The FEAPT Center solely is responsible for all aspects of the program. It is also an Association for Play Therapy (APT) Approved Provider 95-014.  This program has been approved by a number of state social work boards (please contact us for this info as some states have unique restrictions).  12 total continuing education credits/clock hours will be awarded to participants who attend the entire conference and complete the necessary assessments (there is a separate fee for this, available at the time you register).  CE recipients must attend the entire conference as partial credit cannot be given.  No exceptions can be made to this policy.  Please contact us at with any questions. Social work approvals cover most states plus the following:   

Fees and Cancellation Policy

This conference is sold as a complete package with continuing education fees paid separately based on whether or not you need them. (Please be sure to sign up for the CE fees at the time you register, however, as they will not be available afterward.). The fees are listed below:

Early Bird Fee: $65 USD  (paid registration through March 31, 2024)
Regular Fee: $80 USD (registration paid April 1-16, 2024)

CE Fee: $25 USD (optional. Includes all Continuing Education processing, access to CE assessments. CE document provided within 3 weeks after assessment is submitted)

Cancellation: Because this is an online conference including prerecorded elements, registration fees cannot be refunded. Please contact Dr. Risë VanFleet at if you miss one of the presentations. In the very unlikely event that this conference is cancelled entirely by the sponsors, a full refund will be given.

Proceedings of Past Conferences as Online Courses!

Missed Our Past Conferences?

Our 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024 AAPT Conferences each featured 12 presentations which are now available, collectively, as a self-paced online course. Continuing education credits are available.