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Animal Assisted Play Therapy™ Is for All Professions – A blogpost by Cyndie Kieffer

Animal Assisted Play Therapy™ Is for All Professions – A blogpost by Cyndie Kieffer

The principles and practices of Animal Assisted Play Therapy™ are applicable to a wide range of professions – mental health, allied health, and education, among others, and for a variety of client populations. It takes a solid understanding of AAPT and one’s own work, and then some creativity to think outside the box sometimes. In this blogpost, Cyndie Kieffer, LCSW, CPP-AAPT, CAAPT-I discusses how she incorporated AAPT into her non-traditional work situations and interviews professionals from other professions about their views.

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Professional Decision Making in Animal Assisted Play Therapy™: How the Goodness-of-Fit Model Impacts Practice

Professional Decision Making in Animal Assisted Play Therapy™: How the Goodness-of-Fit Model Impacts Practice

Decision-making in Animal Assisted Play Therapy™ and Animal Assisted Therapy practice is a complex process. Not only must practitioners know how to intervene to meet client goals, they must consider and advocate for the needs of the animals. Other factors play a role in determining what an actual intervention, lesson, or session might look like, also. This blogpost considers four aspects that are forefront in the minds of professionals using AAPT in their work.

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Case Formulation Guide for Professionals Working with Children and Families

Case Formulation Guide for Professionals Working with Children and Families

When child and family professionals such as play therapists and family therapists are presented with new cases, there is much to be learned in a short time. Working together with the family, therapists typically review the family’s history and relationships along with the parents’ or family’s reasons for coming. Regardless of theoretical orientation, therapists work with the family to establish treatment goals and an overall plan for moving forward. This can be an overwhelming task for relatively new therapists, and even for experienced therapists when confronted with complex and/or multiple traumas, attachment disruptions, and a multitude of other situations. Where does one start to tease apart the situation to determine which goals represent a starting place? There are no easy answers.

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Adapting to Adoption: Appreciating What Our Dogs Must Learn

Adapting to Adoption: Appreciating What Our Dogs Must Learn

When dogs are adopted from a shelter, rescue, or other caretaking situation, they have an enormous amount to learn as they adapt to their new environment. We sometimes take that for granted and develop unrealistic expectations of them as a result. As we give them space and time to adjust, we can observe the situation from their viewpoint and alter our own expectations and actions to better help them feel comfortable in their new homes.

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Including Animals in Play Therapy — Not Just for Kids!

Including Animals in Play Therapy — Not Just for Kids!

Quite often when people hear “play therapy” they think of children. Play therapy uses the therapeutic powers of play (based on the seminal work of Dr. Charles Schaefer) and the natural features of childhood to provide a developmentally-attuned set of interventions and approaches to help children learn and heal. Even so, we know that play is important not only for children, but also for adolescents and adults throughout the lifespan. Humor and playfulness enrich people’s lives while providing a safety valve and coping...

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When We Adopt a Dog: The Early Days

When We Adopt a Dog: The Early Days

Adding a new dog to the family requires considerable thought and planning. It’s a big decision requiring a lifelong commitment. When the dog arrives, the first steps including helping the new family member feel comfortable in the environment, assisting other animals in the family to adjust, and getting to know the new dog as well as possible. This process must precede decisions about any work in which the dog might become involved. This brief article highlights the early process to navigate the early days and weeks.

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Why Competencies for Professionals in Animal Assisted Interventions?

Why Competencies for Professionals in Animal Assisted Interventions?

As Animal Assisted Interventions become more prevalent among professionals, the topic of competencies gains importance. Competences should be viewed as a roadmap to developing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to involve animals effectively and ethically in mental health, allied health, and educational work.

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Exit Routes to Avoid Crowding Animals Involved in Animal Assisted Play Therapy™

Exit Routes to Avoid Crowding Animals Involved in Animal Assisted Play Therapy™

Animals need more space than we sometimes realize. They sometimes might wish to leave sessions, too. Providing an “exit route” at all times can allow for animal choices, greater safety, and demonstrate respect for the animals’ needs. This can be helpful to animals as well as clients.

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The Distinctiveness of Animal Assisted Play Therapy™

The Distinctiveness of Animal Assisted Play Therapy™

This article explores the unique features that comprise Animal Assisted Play Therapy™ as it was created and developed by Dr. Risë VanFleet (USA) and Tracie Faa-Thompson (UK). There are distinct differences with many other forms of Animal Assisted Intervention, and some of these distinctions are described here.

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Finding and Preparing a Dog for Canine Assisted Play Therapy™

Finding and Preparing a Dog for Canine Assisted Play Therapy™

Another frequently asked question about Animal Assisted Play Therapy™ pertains to finding the right canine partner and preparing the dog for the work. Most common are questions about which breeds make the best therapy dogs. These are actually more complex questions than many people realize. This blogpost is designed to point readers toward some helpful resources that we have developed.

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