AAPT Certified Professionals
Directory of Professionals Fully Certified by the INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ANIMAL ASSISTED PLAY THERAPY®
The International Institute for Animal Assisted Play Therapy® offers a full certification program for professionals who have met our stringent criteria for this credential. It is a full certification (different from a “certificate program”) because individuals must satisfactorily demonstrate their competencies in the understanding and effective, ethical practice of Animal Assisted Play Therapy®. The human professionals must attend at least 150 hours of online and in-person training programs, satisfactorily complete supervision that typically takes a year, and work extensively with their animals to ensure the positive, relationship-based approach that AAPT is built upon. The competencies cover the multidisciplinary fields that comprise AAPT, and these are listed in the AAPT Certification Manuals included in this website. The animals must be approved using several indices of their suitability and their therapists’ abilities to advocate for their needs and ensure their welfare at the highest levels. AAPT is fully described in the book by Risë VanFleet and Tracie Faa-Thompson (2017). Animal Assisted Play Therapy. Sarasota, FL: Professional Resource Press.
The Directory is divided into the following sections:
- Co-Founders of AAPT
- Certified AAPT Instructors
- Certified AAPT Supervisors
- Certified AAPT Professionals/Therapists
- Certified Animal Ethology and Behavior Specialists
Each entry includes a brief biography of the individual as well as contact information. If you have any questions at all about this listing, the training and certification programs, or AAPT in general, please send them to email@example.com. Certification Manuals for each of these credentials are found here.
Co-Founders of AAPT
AAPT was developed, at first separately as Canine Assisted Play Therapy® and Equine Assisted Play Therapy® by Dr. Risë VanFleet and Tracie Faa-Thompson, respectively. They began collaborating and then offering training workshops together in 2004. They have coauthored dozens of articles and chapters, and their widely acclaimed book, Animal Assisted Play Therapy, was released in 2017.
AAPT Certified Instructors
The AAPT Instructor Program was fully implemented in 2019. Individuals earning this certification are already certified at the therapist level. Candidates are selected by invitation only, although anyone may express interest. Recipients of this credential undergo extensive Instructor training that strengthens their skills at teaching other professionals in a positive, effective manner while learning how to deliver the highly demanding Level 1 AAPT Training Program. They then participate in a mentorship in which they help with and then co-lead Level 1 trainings. Once certified, they are qualified to offer the Level 1 AAPT Training Program independently in their own organizations, but they must coordinate this with IIAAPT and other Instructors and also obtain regular continuing education relevant to this work. The AAPT Instructor Certification Manual is available on this website.
AAPT Certified Supervisors
In 2017, IIAAPT rolled out its Supervisor Certification Program. Individuals who earn this certification are already certified in AAPT at the therapist level and have a recognized supervisor credential from their governmental licensing body and/or an accepted mental health organization. They then undergo additional supervisor training that focuses specifically on the complexities of supervising professionals and their animals in the conduct of AAPT. This, too, is a full certification based on demonstrated competence. All AAPT supervisors go through a mentorship experience (approximately one year) as well to ensure these competencies. The AAPT Supervision Certification Manual is also available on this website. (in order that CAAPT-S was awarded)
AAPT Certified Professionals/Therapists
Individuals listed below are fully certified by the IIAAPT either as Certified Animal Assisted Play Therapists (they have a master’s-level university degree and have attained both mental health and play therapy credentials, in addition to the AAPT competencies) or as Certified Professional Practitioners of AAPT (they have a master’s level university degree and have attained a mental health credential as well as some required training in play therapy, in addition to the AAPT competencies). They have demonstrated the competencies required and described in The AAPT Certification Manual.
AAPT Certified Animal Ethology and Behavior Specialists
The purpose of the Certified Animal Ethology and Behavior Specialist – Animal Assisted Play Therapy® (CAEBS-AAPT) program is to designate highly skilled animal professionals who are qualified to work with animals and their handlers in ways completely consistent with the Animal Assisted Play Therapy® values, principles, and methods. The CAEBS credential indicates specialized skill in training and assisting AAPT practitioners in the training, handling, and behavior interventions with their animals. Each person earning the CAEBS demonstrates proficiency with one or more designated species. Th CAEBS-AAPT certification is based upon demonstrated competencies in the same array of areas as required for the Certified Animal Assisted Play Therapist credential, as well as in a number of additional areas that are animal-specific. Those holding the CAEBS are qualified to assist with supervision and training workshops with a focus on animal behavior within their scope of practice. The CAEBS Certification Manual is available on this website.
Kirrie Award Recipients
The Kirrie Award is given by the International Institute for Animal Assisted Play Therapy® for “outstanding contributions and dedication to the field of Animal Assisted Play Therapy®.” Recipients are listed below in order of receipt.
Lisa Mink McGowan