HL650 Introduction to Animal Assisted Interventions

Course Description

Animal assisted interventions and animal therapy programs have the capacity to improve empathy, self-esteem, and animal care knowledge. This course will review theories animal assisted interventions, and specific therapeutic techniques as they apply to several different populations will be discussed. Dog training, mechanisms of change, and program outcomes will also be examined. Students will have an opportunity to observe an actual animal assisted intervention, interview the animal handler involved, and integrate newly gained knowledge of theories, practice, and evaluation of these programs. 3 credits

Course Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Explain the physical and mental health benefits of interactions with animals
  • Demonstrate knowledge of best practices for establishing animal assisted interventions
  • Demonstrate knowledge of theories of different therapeutic techniques across populations and apply these theories in the context of animal assisted interventions

Course Topics

(Subject to Change)

  • AAI and Therapeutic Techniques
  • Therapeutic techniques and program development
  • Animal selection
  • AAI with the elderly and chronically ill
  • AAI with special populations
  • Other AAI modalities
  • Ethics and Welfare Considerations

Course Materials

(Subject to Change)

  • Fine, A. (Ed.). (2010). Handbook on Animal-Assisted Therapy: Theoretical Foundations and Guidelines for Practice, Third Edition. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
  • Delta Society. (1996). Standards of Practice for Animal Assisted Therapy and Animal Assisted Activities. Bellevue, WA: Delta Society.
  • Fine, A. H. & Eisen, C. J. (2008). Afternoons with Puppy. Inspirations from a Therapist and His Animals. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press.