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Earn your Animal Assisted Therapy Interventionist Credential (AAT-I)

Or Continuing Education Hours in Animal Assisted Therapy

The Animal Assisted Interventionist (AAT-I) Credential

The Animal Assisted Therapy Interventionist Credential (AAT-I) is a distinction awarded to qualified clinicians who have successfully completed the comprehensive AAT-I program.

The AAT-I International Program consists of a series of seven online, self-paced courses and an in-person 3-day experiential intensive (virtual/remote options for the intensive are under development) which, provides professionals with in-depth theoretical knowledge regarding the practice of animal-assisted therapy across a variety of settings with various populations.  This combination of the online courses and the experiential learning course allows professionals to apply and practice their knowledge gained through the online courses in a live setting with a variety of therapy animals, receiving feedback and processing the experience to gain their AAT-I credential.  The experiential intensive is held in a variety of farm and nature settings to help professionals understand the breadth and depth of location options to practice AAT.  

The AAT-I program is designed for licensed/certified professionals to learn how to utilize Animal-Assisted Interventions ethically and intentionally per the American Counseling Association’s AAT-C Competency Requirements. This program is developed by an instructor with a Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision, as well as a practicing Animal-Assisted Therapist with almost two decades of experience. The program content has been reviewed by an advisory board of relevant professionals (e.g. LPC’s, LCSW’s) to ensure quality and relevance to a breadth of professionals seeking AAT certification and/or CEU’s. Your instructors believe in the evidence-based healing power of the human-animal bond. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA, 2018), “The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors that are essential to the health and well-being of both. This includes, but is not limited to, emotional, psychological, and physical interactions of people, animals, and the environment.” This program teaches you how to be co-therapists in a triadic relationship with animals in a variety of settings to accelerate growth and transformation via the mind, body, spirit connection.

people hugging dog
woman feeding horses
person holding cat

How to earn your AAT-I Credential:

Hold an approved license or certification. 
Click here to view the full list of approved clinician types.
Complete the entire AAT-I program, which includes the following courses:

1. The History of AAT and AAT Principles, 4 CE hours

2. Animals as Co-therapists: Selection, Behavioral, and Training Considerations, 2 CE Hours

3. AAT Competencies and Multicultural Considerations, 7 CE Hours

4. Introduction to Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy 13 CE Hours

5. Animals as Co-Therapists: Blending Animal Interventions with a Range of Professional Theoretical Orientations, 11 CE Hours

6. Animals as Co-Therapists: Exploring Animal Assisted Interventions Across Professions, Settings, and Populations, 17 CE Hours

7. Developing Treatment Plans and Tracking Outcomes, 10 CE Hours

8. AAT-I Live Intensive Course (Onsite in NC), 21 CE Hours

The AAT-I Instructors



Dr. Christina Strayer


Dr. Christina Strayer, Ed.D, LCMHCS, AAT-I, CCTP, THTC, CYT-200 is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor in North Carolina. She is the co-owner and CEO of a private practice, Animal-Assisted Therapy of the Triangle. She is trained in a variety of Integrative Therapies including Art, Yoga and Mindfulness along with being a Certified Counselor in Trauma Procedures (CCTP), Distance Credentialed Counselor (online counseling), and trained in EMDR and Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT with canines, equines, goats, rabbits, and more). Christina is a Pet Partners Handler and Team Evaluator. She brings a unique approach to her work with children, adolescents and adults by teaming up with rescued sidekicks Cookie, Pickles, Gidget, and various farm animals in her private practice.
Her theoretical approach is Client-centered and Holistic. She has combined her study of the power of the Human and Animal Bond in healing with proven Counseling Theories/Techniques and provides sessions in a clinical, online or farm setting!
She has a diverse background in counseling and teaching. She has served as an adjunct professor at Campbell University in the Counselor Education department. She travels and conducts seminars for PESI, a national continuing education organization and conducts Seminars/Workshops/Groups locally on a variety of Mental Health/Wellness topics. She works with ages 5 and up in the areas of PTSD, Panic Disorder, Crisis Intervention, Compassion Fatigue, ADHD, Stress, Trauma, Grief and Loss, Anxiety, Depression, Relationship/Communication Skills, High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders, Goal setting, Consultation with stakeholders (parents, school staff), Parenting, Self-Esteem, Conflict resolution, Social Skills, Life Balance. As a former School Counselor and former Exceptional Children's teacher, she has an in depth understanding of children and adolescents. She can help children and parents alike navigate difficulty with school- based issues, mental health concerns affecting academics, and often collaborates with school personnel on the client's behalf.
Christina graduated from the Doctoral program in Counselor Education and Supervision through Argosy University in Sarasota, FL. She obtained both a Master of Science in Counseling and Human Development with a concentration in K-12 School Counseling and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Radford University in Radford, Virginia.

Sarah Jones

LCMHC, co-owner and COO of Animal-Assisted Therapy of the Triangle

Sarah Jones, has a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) in North Carolina. She is the co-owner and COO of a private practice, Animal-Assisted Therapy of the Triangle. Sarah has a diverse background with an MBA, certificate in business and executive coaching, certificate in organizational change management, and experience as a corporate trainer until she decided that she wanted to return to school to enable her to focus more deeply on the change and growth process of individuals. Sarah teams up with her rescue dogs Ella or Cricket, who are co-therapists, or with horses and other farm animals to bring a unique approach to her work with adolescents, adults, and couples. Her clinical counseling experience includes providing individual and group counseling in an agency setting to victims of domestic violence. In addition, she has provided individual counseling to clients coping with issues ranging from stressful career transitions, anxiety, depression, grief, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. She has also worked with couples dealing with communication issues and conflict.
Sarah graduated from Wake Forest University with a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in 2018. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Duke University. She has two registered therapy dogs with Pet Partners and volunteers with her dogs regularly. She also volunteers with a dog rescue group and has rescue dogs as her co-therapists.

Susan Arnold

Founder of Susan Arnold Coaching, LLC and Senior partner with Excellerate Solutions, Inc.

Susan Arnold is the founder of Susan Arnold Coaching, LLC and is a Senior partner with Excellerate Solutions, Inc. Her specialties are long-term performance excellence, sustainable self-motivated change and leadership development. She engages with clients to have them see and think in new, clear and powerful ways. As an executive coach, Susan has worked with individuals in organizations such as SAS, Northrop Grumman, BiogenIdec, Shire, Synergy Research, Earthfare and the US Air Force.
Susan, through her entrepreneurial spirit, founded several businesses to guide individuals to maximize their career potential. She is committed to helping individuals to grow personally and professionally resulting in deep, lasting, transformative change. Over her 20-year business career with Fortune 500 companies such as Northrop Grumman, Susan has developed the people and business skills necessary to address diverse issues and deliver outstanding results. She is a leader with first-hand experience in the strategic, operational and financial aspects of running a business. Over her career she has worked in the areas of teaching and performance models, operations, sales, and general management with profit and loss responsibility.
As owner of private companies, Susan has consistently exceeded annual sales, marketing and profit goals. She built a reputation for a strong work ethic, professionalism, and clients exceeding their goals and expectations. With these results, this put Susan in the top of her field nationally and internationally. Given this skill set, she has taken individuals from mediocre performance to highly skilled professionals.
Susan has been an executive coach for over 10 years and has been a Master Passion Profiler Coach for 6 years. Susan received the distinction of Certification from the International Federation of Coaches from the Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and is a graduate of the Co-active Leadership Institute, a globally recognized program devoted to increased perception and expansion of other's inherent strengths so to create powerful alliances and achieve mutual goals within one-to-one and team relationships. She also holds certifications in Equine Assisted Learning, a landmark industry devoted to executive leadership and development with the assistance of horses. Susan is a certified NLP practitioner and is currently completing her Master Practitioner Certification.

Ready to Begin Your Animal Assisted Interventionist Training?

I really gained a deeper understanding of Telehealth. I think this course helps pave the way for success in our field. This was very convenient. I am so blessed to take a course like this during the crisis we are facing as a nation. This course really helps me perform at a high level for my job. THANKS!!!!!!!
Jackie Tanna
Therapist / Region One Mental Health

The course was very detailed and informative. It covered everything that is necessary to work with Tele mental health.

Cynthia Allison
Mental health Counselor / Friendly Therapy LLC
The training was very informative, there was more in-depth information to the details of privacy and HIPAA on an electronic level that I was not aware of. The more technological part of it was new information to me.
Nellie Decker
Therapist II / Yakama Nation Behavioral Health
I took the Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider Training Certification Course in 2018, I feel so lucky to have found the TeleHealth Certification Institute. It's a top notch training center which has continued to provide me with tools and the knowledge to grow my private teletherapy practice. I recently participated in the TeleMental Health Preparedness Summit 2020 and was definitely not disappointed. The excitement and enthusiasm from the participants and TeleHealth Certification Institute staff is contagious. I've been inspired, since, to look into taking more courses, and joined their FaceBook group. I will likely join their consultation group in the near future. I don't believe there is another training institute out there that is as good as this one for everything telebehavioral health. Thank you Ray! You are a visionary!
Larissa Golloub, LCSW-R
Psychotherapist, solo practitioner / Larissa Golloub, LCSW
Vey helpful and user friendly. Most importantly informative. Very good information to enhance an individual's practice.
La Keicia Boyd
Licensed Professional Counselor / Private Practice
I learned a lot in this course and will put what I learned into practice when I move my home office space.
Raymond Corbo
Clinical Supervisor and Counselor / Redeemer Counseling Services
Very informative! Well organized! Takeaway- protect yourself- know your ethical code and standards/ be insured.
Brenda Staerker
Private practice / Thaxton Holistic Wellness
Very informative training, instruction was clear and easy to follow
Jill Bogan-El
Wonderful free training. Helpful discussion on how to aid clients in breaking out of the negative thought trap.
Jaime Wright
This course is providing me with valuable information that will be helpful in providing competent and effective services for clients.
Nancy Sweet-Holp, LMSW
Therapist / Liberty House of Albany
It was one of the best courses I’ve attended; clear, well-structured, creative, transparent and professional! Bravo.
Elizabeth Tramonte, PsyD
Private Practitioner / Elizabeth Tramonte PC
This course was extremely helpful understanding the legal requirements for interstate telehealth counseling.
Donald Kirk Henderson
Licensed Professional Counselor / Milestone Family Resources
Great, course. Really helped me during this challenging time to connect with students.
Priscilla Robinson
School Counselor / Baltimore County Public Schools
This course was eye opening and highlighted some definite areas for improvement to better address emergency management planning.
Nikkita Scott
Director of Counselling & Student Activities / Bbermuda College
Necessary technological guidance!
Frances D Murdock
Brillant concept and a great way to support counselors as they transition into on-line therapy/services.
Bianca Abrams
License Professional Counselor / The Wellness Institute of Atlanta
This course was very interesting and allowing me to understand the way telementalhealth services need to work correctly.
Patricia A Hill
Mental Health Counselor II and LCDC, MAC / Central County Services
This was quite beneficial. You explained well at a comfortable pace and you provided sufficient details for me to develop an Emergency Management Plan. Thank you!
The training was well structured and presented by a knowledge individual. Information shared in the training was useful, clear, and concise and can easily be incorporated into future practice techniques.
Dora Falls
LPC, MAC Private Practice - / Private Practice
Amazing and relevant information conveyed over excellent format. This is a professional organization worth joining.
Summer Allan Wilson LCSW-S; Nationally Certified TFCBT
Pediatric Psychotherapist / East Texas Family Guidance Center
Very well done. Encourages active engagement in telemental health process while guiding effectively.
Chris Brotherton
Marriage and Family Therapist / Addiction Counselor / Brotherton Counseling LLC
Courses were very informative! Extremely helpful!
Carron D. Alexander
LPC / Premier Counseling Services
Thank you for an informational, relevant course to help me obtain my TMH certificate. Excellent presentation.
Tomica Horton
counselor/therapist / Jodi Province Counseling Services
Educational and informative content that was easy to follow and comprehend.
Scott Lipp, Ph.D., LMHC, LAC, NCC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor; Adjunct Professor / Greater Things, LLC; Florida Atlantic University
Very informative. I learned things that I wasn't aware of about state laws!
Tamara Coleman
Counselor / Tamara Coleman Counseling LLC
Easily one of the best online or in-person workshops I have ever attended. The information was unbelievably relevant to current practice with our students doing e-learning and having to provide online therapy and support. Thank you so much for this workshop and the information.
Vincent Amador
School Psychologist / Thornridge High School
This course is more comprehensive than all the other HIPAA courses I've taken combined.
Michelle R. Gould, LMHC
Mental Health Counselor
This course was very informative and very relevant to today's telehealth practices!
Keith Ayson
Housing Case Manager / Bridgeways
The course was so informative and I was glued to my screen for the entire duration. I received so much knowledge concerning ethics in telehealth and I am greatly encouraged to read about all the standards and policies that pertain to my practice. Thank you!
Bridgette Nalumu
Public health consultant / Green and Purple Consultancy Network
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