Training & Certification Overview

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AAP Training – Animal Assisted Psychotherapy / Animal Assisted Learning
Practitioner Training & Certification


The Course

15 days (120 hours) On-site
3 – 5 Day Intensives


Training Dates

currently postponed / under review

Intensive 1 SEP 7 – 11, 2020

Intensive 2 Oct 5 – 9, 2020

Intensive 3 NOV 2 – 6, 2020


Venue 459 Telegraph Rd, Mt Prospect (Daylesford area), Victoria, Australia

Training Fees $1500 AU plus gst per 5 Day Intensive (Upfront payment – $4200 plus gst)

Certification Requirements post training, you will be supported to submit – an Integration Paper (1000 word reflection paper) after each Intensive, Open Book exam at completion of intensives, animal-based project and short video, and, attend five online ( 1 hour) supervision sessions over duration of training (within 12 month period). Supervision are invoiced seperately, after session ($120 AU plus gst )

Language English – students need to have fluency in english for training and submission of assessment material.

Core Curriculum Learning Areas / Description

  • Introduction to AAP and AAL
  • Animals and the Human-Animal Bond
  • Psychotherapy
  • AAP Introduction and AAP Training Theory
  • AAP/ AAL Environment and Setting
  • AAP / AAL Practice and Interventions
  • Trauma, Neuroscience and AAP/ AAL
  • Ethics
  • Business
  • Program Evaluation

AAP Training Core Curriculum Areas

Introduction to AAP and AAL

Objectives of AAP
Scope of Practice,
Unique Benefits to Practitioner
Overview of Role of Animals in experiential psychotherapy or learning context

Animals and the Human-Animal Bond

Zoology, Ethology & Animal Behaviour
Human –Animal Bond
Unique Contribution of each Animal/ Species in AAP/ AAL
Focus on Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, Horses in Training Program
Opportunity to specialise (with other animals) in reflection paper and practice/supervision
Animals Setting and Enrichment
domestic and wild animals
Animal Selection, Temperament and Behaviour
Safety with Animals
Animal Care and Animal Welfare
Animal Training issues
Veterinary Care
Risk Management- strategy to minimise risks to the animal


What is Psychotherapy?
Current Psychotherapy Approaches relevant to AAP
Psychotherapist Competencies and Skills, Personal Qualities that apply to AAP

AAP Introduction and AAP training Theory

What is AAP / AAL and Why AAP/ AAL?
Unique Benefits and Change Agents
Neuroscience of AAP
AAP Training Model including integration of Psychotherapeutic Approaches – Gestalt Therapy, Psychodynamic, Play Therapy, Somatic Psychotherapy and Somatic Experiencing
Psychoeducational interventions in AAP and AAL

AAP/AAL Environment and Setting

Indoor practice
Outdoor practice
Natural Settings
Therapy Zoos
AAP/AAL at Zoos/Wildlife parks
Animals dictate the setting
human preference

AAP/ AAL Practice Intervention

AAP Practice – Overview (AAP Training) Facilitation Process
Therapeutic Triad Relationship (system of relationships)
Gestalt, Psychodynamic and Play Therapy practice
Animals Lived Experience, Temperament and Behaviour as Intervention
Ethics as Intervention
Client Directed and Practitioner-led approaches
Diagnosis & AAP Interventions
Animal-Specific Interventions
Field Assessment and Intervention Lens
Here and Now Assessment
Treatment Planning- Presenting Issues, Therapeutic Goals, Intervention
Practitioner Skills- professional and personal- AAP and AAL
AAP with Special Populations
Structured Programs and Unstructured/ therapeutic practice
Working with Children- unique interventions and practice skills
Working with Adults – unique interventions and practice skills

Trauma, Neuroscience and AAP/AAL

Introduction Trauma and AAP
Understanding Trauma – PTSD and Complex Trauma
Developmental Trauma in Children
Neuroscience of AAP


Professional Issues
Client Safety
Animal Safety, Consent, Care and Welfare
Balancing Health & Welfare of both Clients & Animals
One Health, One Welfare
Legal Issues
AAP Training Code of Ethics/ Code of Conduct


Business Plan
Insurance, Client Consent & Waiver
Risk Management
Documentation and Case Notes
Promotion and Marketing

Program Evaluation

Evaluation Tools
Researching your AAP/ AAL

Overview of Certification Requirements

Successful completion of all Intensives (20 days)
4 Reflection Paper
5 Supervision (Online) Sessions
Exam (Open Book)
Submission Animal Behaviour Report and Handling Video
Compliance to AAP Training Code of Ethics

Continuing Professional Development

10 hours per annum of relevant training, studies, supervision, and other CPD activities that are directly relevant to AAP or AAL practice

AAP Training Member Benefits

Advertising on our Practitioners Listing
Access to Closed Facebook Group
Access to ongoing CPD
Access to Supervision (AASW, APS)
Access to sister Institute – The Equine Psychotherapy Institute and range of CPD opportunities, including trainings, conferences, advanced trainings, community of practitioners