Facilitating an animal-assisted intervention program : the risks and rewards of working with animals in helping and educational settings

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Couling, Katelynn
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
Humans and animals have been living and working together for centuries. The mutual relationship that developed lead professionals to begin incorporating animals into human services and education to enhance human wellness, a practice presently referred to as Animal-assisted Intervention (AAI). In current research and practice there exists a gap in the literature that together defines AAI and helps individuals, unfamiliar with AAI, understand the risks and rewards of facilitating an AAI program in human services and education. The following project reviews the AAI literature–including the types of AAI, its proposed benefits, and the risks of working with animals in this context. It provides further information to help individuals make an informed decision about the appropriateness of an AAI program based on their unique needs. The project is broken down into two parts, a paper and presentation. The paper includes the literature review and detailed information about facilitating an AAI program, while the presentation provides an engaging summary of the paper that can be presented to individuals and organizations interested in developing an AAI program. The presentation was given to two organizations that provide AAI services in Edmonton Alberta in order to receive feedback on the appropriateness of its content.
Pets -- Therapeutic use , Animals -- Therapeutic use , Human-animal relationships , Animals -- Psychological aspects , animal therapy , animal-assisted intervention , therapy animals , goal-oriented intervention , AAI program development