This Certificate requires, and provides students with, monthly supervision with your instructor. The cost of tuition can be paid in full for the entire 7 course program for a total of $5700. Alternatively, tuition can be paid for one course at a time as desired. The cost of each individual course is $850.

*NOTE: Due to CANASSIST’s ongoing enrollment, and based on a student’s background and clinical experience, courses and practicum can be completed concurrently, or students can pace themselves to fit their work situation.

Fees and Course Descriptions

These are the 7 core certificate courses:

1. AAT-C 1: Foundations of Animal assisted Therapeutic Interventions – The human animal bond. 

The Foundations of Animal assisted Therapeutic Interventions – The human animal bond explores the well documented, mutually beneficial relationship between humans. Specifically, this course explores how the potential for that bond can be developed in therapeutic settings where the relationships include the animal and therapist, animal and client, and therapist and client. You will understand how different animals, depending on their size, nature, and environmental needs, can facilitate therapeutic interventions with various populations of different ages, and with different needs. The course is designed to help dog owners, owner-trainers and mental health professionals determine a become familiar with the development of treatment plans and appropriate animal-assisted interventions.

2. AAT-C 2: Legal and Ethical Issues in Animal Assisted Interventions. 

Working with various types of animals require several legal and ethical considerations. Increasingly, as animal-assisted interventions gain recognition, so too does the need for formal training and an awareness of the implications to the animal, the client, and more broadly to your practice. This course requires an awareness of these issues, but also asks students to reflectively consider how they may impact decisions made about the way they integrate animals in their practice.

3. AAT-C 3: Animal Behavior, Ethology, Health and Development. 

The learning objectives of this course is to teach the clinician to recognize body language, stress vs. distress through observation. Learners will understand and interpret therapy animals’ behavior (ethology), and to better communicate with the animals they work with in order to create therapeutic interventions that enrich the lives of the animals and humans alike.  This course provides the foundation for AAT-C 4: Learning Theory and Training – Applied animal behaviour.

4. AAT-C 4: Learning Theory, Interpersonal Theory, and Training – Applied animal behaviour. 

This course familiarizes the practitioner with the theoretical basis of training terminology and meanings in the context of animal assisted interventions. Learning theory emerged from the recognition that animal behaviours are learned in response to various stimuli that motivate them to act, or not. This course moves deeply from theoretical background, into the elements of applied animal behaviour and training. For this course, it is necessary that you have an animal to work with and video demonstrations of various techniques will be required.  The application of AAT or AAP is most often thought of within its own context, not within the context of sound theory. Your competency in animal assisted interventions will be evaluated based on your ability to integrate theory with a focus on the path you have chosen for this course:

5. AAT-C5: Focused Study (trauma or addictions path) – Working with select populations. 

This course will encompass current theories and best practices in working within a trauma-focused or addictions-focused spectrum, with the integration of animal assisted interventions. For example, some interventions may integrate animal assisted interventions with the use of metaphor and storytelling, attachment and empathy building activities, play therapy and arts-based expressions. This course provides the opportunity for learners to explore the literature that supports AAT in clinical settings that are most relevant to their practice. The learner will identify the specific risks and benefits of AAT, for both humans and animals.Participants will develop a framework for treatment plans with specific interventions for their chosen track of study. Other areas of focus relevant to the learner may be considered in consultation with the instructor/supervisor.

6. AAT-C6: Best Practices and Research as an Animal Assisted Clinician. 

This course is a thorough review of best practices in managing your clinical practice with the adjunct of animal assisted therapy animals. The primary focus is on canine assisted interventions, although the material can be applied to other animals as discussed throughout the course. Research is an important tool in establishing the success of animal assisted interventions. The course will review both qualitative and quantitative research methodology to prepare you for a study you will be required to complete. The study does not need to be complex and you will be given a great deal of support and guidance. The findings of your study will be submitted as a written assignment.

7. AAT-C7: Integrating Animal Assisted Interventions in Therapeutic Settings. 

This course provides learners with the opportunity to fully develop a framework for practice with animals involved in therapeutic relationships, and in a variety of settings. This is a highly individualized course and may also include practicum hours when and where availalble.