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The AAT-I Credential

   

The Animal Assisted Therapy Interventionist Credential (AAT-I) is a distinction awarded to qualified clinicians who have successfully completed one of the comprehensive AAT-I programs.  Professionals who have completed the Animal Assisted Therapy Interventionist (AAT-I) Level 1 or Level 2 program have received training by highly qualified Animal Assisted Therapy practitioners who are professionally licensed within their field.

After completing the Level 1 program, AAT-I professionals possess extensive knowledge, and understanding related to the empirical benefits of the Human-Animal Bond and Human-Animal Interactions. AAT-I Level 1 professionals also have gained interdisciplinary training that has equipped them to incorporate animals as an integral treatment plan component in an ethical and intentional manner with clients/patients. Finally, AAT-I Level 1 professionals are trained in animal welfare, behavior, and advocacy. This provides professional with a strong educational foundation upon which they can seek out supervision from local animal-assisted therapy experts, per the ACA animal-assisted therapy guidelines, to gain additional practical experience and continue to hone their skills in this specialty field.

After completing the Level 2 program, AAT-I professionals have the same educational foundation as in Level 1, but have the added benefit of gaining practical hands-on experiential learning with a variety of therapy animals at a 3-day weekend intensive. During this intensive AAT-I level 2 professional will apply and practice the knowledge they have gained, receiving feedback and processing the experience with their peers and experienced program instructors. The end result is that AAT-I Level 2 professionals are able to effectively partner with their therapy animal to provide a holistic, non-threatening, unconditional accepting environment for clients/patients in a professional manner.

Profession Types Qualified for the Animal Assisted Therapy Interventionist Include:

  • Licensed Professional Counselors
  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers
  • Licensed Clinical Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Rehabilitation Therapists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Recreational Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Directors of Nursing Home facilities
  • Educators
  • Higher Education Professionals
  • Justice Department Professionals (Juvenile, Prison Programs)
  • Veterinarians
  • Vet Techs
The experential was an amazing paradigm shifting intensive. I learned so many creative interventions with amazing animals which will greatly enhance my practice and I look forward to applying all that I learned, In addition the training team is obviously doing what is a "labor of love" helping people and providing amazing experiences with animals!
Yonason (Ron) Witonsky
Psychotherapist / NYCSUPPORT
This AAT training was excellent!!! The instructors, including the Equine Experts, were incredibly knowledgable. The hands-on training with the animals (especially the horses!) was very, relevant and I always felt safe knowing that the instructors were looking out for us. I look forward to incorporating everything I learned into my future, private practice. I would highly recommend this training to anyone who is interested in having an animal as their co-therapist. A huge thank you to Cristina and Sarah for providing this amazing training! This experience was truly invaluable, as well as unforgettable!
Kirsten Newell Marino
Clinical Mental Health Counselor

This experiential weekend exceeded my expectations. The instructors were well prepared and presented material and real-time experiences that will greatly enhance my ability to apply AAT in my practice. The exercises and activities served not only to improve our skills and knowledge, but also offered opportunities to experience AAT as our clients will and created a deep bond among the group. The beautiful setting at the refuge offered an incredible variety of animals to help us begin identifying the many ways any animal can help serve the needs of our diverse client populations. With the tremendous amount of information provided, I feel competent to begin the process of training my animals and incorporating them into practice.

Kelly Jerome
Counselor and Psychotherapist / Fresh Air Counseling

This was a great course which taught me alot regarding the Human Animal Bond and especially how this bond transcends the obvious benefits animals bring. This bond is an absolute asset to the arsenal of any Mental Health Professional and allows the clients past positive experiences with animals including hardwired desire to connect with nature to improve the therapeutic alliance as well as open up new vistas in treatment.

Yonason (Ron) Witonsky
Psychotherapist / The Floating Hospital
Excellent introduction to AAT
Roberta Rood