Training: Canine Assisted Therapy in Practice



“Animal Assisted Therapy is a highly effective therapeutic modality where trained therapy dog and handler teams maximise the benefits of the human-animal bond to assist clients achieve meaningful and lasting change.”


Date: TBC September 2022
Time: 10am until 4.30pm
Location: Insight Therapies Counselling and Consultancy, Wodonga

At Insight Therapies, we have seen first-hand the positive impact that Animal Assisted Therapy can offer. 

It is commonly known that the inclusion of dogs in the therapy space plays a significant role in increasing the motivation of clients to engage in therapy, however the benefits of AAT go far beyond motivation. It is our passion here at Insight Therapies: Child & Adult Counselling to share the skills and knowledge we have learnt over the years of practice and training with other like minded professionals so that more children and adults can access this amazing modality.

Completing the full certification program is a costly and time consuming process and something that you may not be 100% sure of committing to at this time.  You may have an interest or passion in animals and the therapeutic benefits they bring but are unsure if the outlay of time and finances is something that will result in a good fit for you, your animal or your clients.

I’ve been there.

That is why we have created this training, to provide the strong foundational skills and knowledge required to help you understand what is needed to deliver AAT and determine if you are ready to embark on the journey of formalising your practice.

Our Canine Assisted Therapy in Practice training is suited to those who are interested in the field of AAT and will provide participants with an overview of what is needed to get started in the industry.

The training will focus on providing professionals with, not only the knowledge, but also the skills required to understand this modality better and to implement ethical and effective AAT within their agency, private practice or school environment.

By exploring the foundations of AAT, including its history, current research, and evidence base, this training provides a solid understanding for participants on why and when they might implement AAT in their practice.

It will identify common treatment goals and explore different delivery frameworks such as Animal Assisted Play Therapy, Animal Assisted Solution Focussed Brief Therapy and Animal Assisted Psychotherapy, including how to utilise these to promote effective delivery of AAT across a variety of client populations. 

Importantly, the training will contain an outline of key legal and ethical considerations, inclusive of informed consent and a focus on animal welfare which can so often be under considered. 

Observed AAT outcomes for clients will be discussed with practical examples and implementation ideas provided to support you to effective deliver AAT within your practice setting. 

Finally, a comprehensive overview of the next steps required to become a certified therapy animal handler team will be provided for those who choose to follow the path of becoming a certified Animal Assisted Therapist/Educator.

This training will provide valuable insight and skills into the delivery of what is a very complex yet effective therapeutic modality. We hope that by completing this training, you will feel more confident in your skills and decide to go on to complete your formal certification so that our community will have even more access to the amazing benefits of including animals in their mental health and education settings.

Feedback from our clients experiencing the benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy

“I know that Kaluah and Bacardi care about me and it feels really good to be remembered and know that they are there waiting for me”

“They make you feel safe, and they really care about you”

“Just patting them helps me open up”

“They help make my anxiety go away for a bit so I can talk about stuff”

The content will cover:

  • Introduction to Animal Assisted work; History and definitions of practice
  • Client benefits of AAT
  • AAT in play therapy, solution focussed and psychotherapy
  • Common treatment goals supported through AAT
  • Including animals in schools – Animal Assisted Education (AAE)
  • Ethical obligations for practitioners considering AAT
  • Training and certification options
  • Suitability of fit for animals in AAT
  • AAT in Action – Practical implementation of Animal Assisted Therapy in counselling and schools

About the Team

Our Lead Therapist, Anita, combines quality therapy with her fully trained and certified therapy dogs Bacardi and Kaluah, engaging her clients through delivering a therapeutic team of self, client and therapy dog.

Anita first began the process of certification for both herself and 4-year-old Labrador Bacardi in 2019 after noticing a natural longing for Bacardi to offer comfort to others. Anita recognised that these innate skills demonstrated by Bacardi, when combined with her experience of working successfully with adults and children who have experienced trauma, could offer children, young people and adults a meaningful and highly valuable therapeutic experience.

Since the beginning of Insight Therapies: Child & Adult Counselling in early 2020, Bacardi’s daughter Kaluah has also completed her certification and now joins the team with her gentle nature and her willingness to share her calm to promote positive emotional experiences for those who work with her.

Insight Therapies: Child and Adult Counselling is the first and only canine-assisted therapy team in the Albury Wodonga area and have been featured for their support to those in need by Prime7 news, The Border Mail and ABC Goulburn radio. Read More.