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AAPT Virtual Conference

Sorry, you’ve missed our 2023 conference, but look for the proceedings very soon! Check here after September for next year’s online conference program.

The Third Annual
Sponsored by the International Institute for AAPT®

Back by Popular Demand!

On February 21-22 (Monday-Tuesday), we will hold our third annual Animal Assisted Play Therapy™ conference! It will be held online, with 6 presentations each day for a total of 12 contact hours. Download the flyer for the full schedule.

Presentations will be prerecorded, although the presenters will be available live for the question-and-answer periods immediately following their presentations. If you register for the conference, you will have access to the presentations afterwards as well.

Access to recordings of the presentations will be made available to those who register for the conference prior to February 19.


Registration closed.

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 to many of the 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 this stimulating and informative virtual conference! 

All workshop presenters are Certified Therapists, Supervisors, and Instructors in AAPT or those who are nearing those certifications. They will share their experiences and approaches using AAPT with a variety of species and client goal areas. This year, presenters join us from the UK and throughout the USA. AAPT research will also be featured.

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 discussion period. 

The types of presentations offered this year include multiple clinical applications, ethics and welfare, research, different species, puppy socialization to canine retirement, and the importance of relationship in AAPT.

20 February 2023

10:00–10:15amWelcome, Announcements, Orientation
10:15–11:15KEYNOTE: From Page to Paw: The Science in Animal Assisted Play Therapy™. Canine Ethics & Values.Kirsty MacQueen
11:15–12:05Animal Assisted Play Therapy™ and Autism: A Winning Combination
Lisa Mink McGowan
12:05–12:55 pmRabbits and Animal Assisted Play Therapy™: Practical Considerations and Case StudyRikki Ford
1:05–1:55Research Exploring Interactions Between Children, Dogs, and Handlers in School SettingsDr. Helen Lewis & Dr. Janet Oostendorp
1:55–2:45Another Perspective on AAPT with Clients on the Autism SpectrumJill Robinson
2:45–3:45Equine Assisted Play Therapy™: Strengthening Healthy Attachment RelationshipsTracie Faa-Thompson, Co-Founder of AAPT

21 February 2023

10:00–10:15amAnnouncements, Explanation of Continuing Education Process
10:15–11:15KEYNOTE: The Importance of Building a Partnership in Animal Assisted Play Therapy™Diane Dioguardi
11:15–12:05Anxiety Buster: Cognitive Behavioral Animal Assisted Play Therapy™Erin Olheiser
12:05–12:55 pmWoof/Woof Pronouns: A Randomized Controlled Trial of AAPT Groups for Transgender YouthDr. Katharine Wenocur & Erica Smith
1:05–1:55Puppy Socialization and Animal Assisted Play Therapy™Dr. Mary Rottier
1:55–2:45Equine Assisted Play Therapy™: Preparation of HorsesAnn Elliot
2:45–3:45When Therapy Animals Grow Old: Retirement, Animal Agency, & Anticipatory GriefDr. Risë VanFleet, CoFounder 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 with any questions.

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 February 4, 2023)
Regular Fee: $80 USD (registration paid February 4 – February 19)

CE Fee: $25 USD (optional. includes all Continuing Education processing, access to CE assessments. CE document provided within 3 weeks of conference)

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 the Conference?

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