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
- Speech-Language Pathologists
- Rehabilitation Therapists
- Physical Therapists
- Occupational Therapists
- Recreational Therapists
- Directors of Nursing Home facilities
- Higher Education Professionals
- Justice Department Professionals (Juvenile, Prison Programs)
- Vet Techs