The AAT-I Online Courses is a series of 7 online courses (listed below). The AAT-I online courses are 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.
This course bundle is Part One of the full AAT-I program. In addition to this course bundle, Part Two (the live intensive course) of the full AAT-I program is required to earn the AAT-I credential.
Full List of Courses Included in this Bundle:
Online Self-Study Courses (Non-Interactive)
- The History of ATT and ATT Principles
- AAT Competencies and Multicultural Considerations
- Animals as Co-Therapists: Selection, Behavioral, and Training Considerations
- Introduction to Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy
- Animals as Co-Therapists: Blending Animal Interventions with a Range of Professional Theoretical Orientations
- Animals as Co-Therapists: Exploring Animal Assisted Interventions Across Professions, Settings, and Populations
- Developing Treatment Plans and Tracking Outcomes
This is a non-interactive, self-study program.
Textbooks are required to complete AAT-I learning content. Reading material is not included with course enrollment and must be purchased separately from retail booksellers. (See "Requirements" tab for specifics.)
Learning objectives for all 7 online courses include:
- Understand the human-animal bond and its importance in AATC
- Define the Human Animal Bond
- Describe a brief history of the Animal Assisted Therapy field
- Explain the rationale for Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI), Animal Assisted Activities (AAA) and Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT)
- Report on the available research on the Human Animal Bond
- Describe the current Animal Assisted Therapy/terminology
- Describe the theoretical framework/Biophilia hypothesis for Animal Assisted Therapy
- Describe the effect of the Human Animal Bond in human interaction
- Explain the ACA Core Competencies for AAT-C
- Identify Pet Partners Identified Core Competencies for AAT-C
- Describe various ethics/laws that impact the practice of AAT
- Explain key Multicultural considerations that must be factored into the practice of AAT
- List general risks associated with the practice of AAT
- Describe the key elements of the triadic relationship between the client, the therapy animal and the therapist
- Report how to be your animal’s best advocate in an AAT setting
- Describe your professional identity as an AAT-C
- Explain how to understand and know an animal’s temperament
- Describe the needs/stress signals of different animals
- Identify how to select the appropriate training for you and your animal for the therapy setting
- Report how to objectively assess an animals’ suitability, strengths and limitations
- Identify key elements of animal care and advocacy
- Explain the ability to detect and as necessary arrange to facilitate the animal’s socialization, desensitization, and comfort to prepare them for work in ATT
- Explain the topic of Zoonosis and its implication in AAT
- Explain the difference between Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP), Therapeutic Riding and Hippotherapy
- Explain steps to become a certified Equine Specialist through P.A.T.H. and Eagala
- Describe the evolution of Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy
- Explain the Human Animal Bond in relationship to equines and its specific benefits to clients in EFP
- Explain important elements of horse behavior and how these elements relate to the equine as a co-therapist
- List key reasons horses are suitable for therapy and why they may not be
- Describe examples of interventions involving equines inf EFP
- Describe examples of the evidence-based research in the EFP field
- Define the role of the mental health professional in EFP
- Define the role of the equine specialist in EFP
- Describe the possible models of interaction between the horse, client, mental health professional, and the equine specialist in EFP
- Identify safety concerns for the client in EFP.
- Identify populations shown to benefit from EFP.
- Describe how the therapeutic alliance is enhanced with an animal Co-therapist.
- Explain attachment theory and how an animal as a co-therapist can provide a corrective attachment experience for your clients.
- Explain the process of how to match AAI’s with a variety of Counseling theories.
- Explain how you would incorporate AAI’s with your theoretical orientation.
- Describe how to assess the suitability and amenability of each client to animal-assisted interventions in counseling.
- Explain the different means by which the human-animal interaction can elicit unexpected vulnerability and disclosures in others.
- Describe how to demonstrate respect for the attitudes of others, particularly those concerned with the animal’s presence in a counseling session.
- List potential safety issues related to AAIs in AATC.
- Identify evidence-based research linking AAIs with counseling theories in the AAT field.
- Describe specific examples of evidence-based research in the AAT field that supports the population with which you choose to work.
- Identify multicultural considerations when matching AAIs with counseling theories for the population with which you choose to work.
- Define key elements that factor into the effective matching of AAIs with clients’ needs/goals
- Explain how AAT can increase empathy in clients
- Explain how AAI’s can be utilized in the Educational Setting with ADHD, Conduct Disorder, and Test Anxiety
- Explain how AAT can be utilized with clients who have experienced Trauma/PTSD
- Identify how AAT can be utilized in a crisis setting, including examples of specific crisis animal-assisted interventions
- Explain how AAT can be intentionally utilized with Clients on the Autism Spectrum
- Explain how AAT benefits clients experiencing Grief/Loss
- Explain how AAI’s can be utilized in the Correctional Setting
- Identify types of AAI’s beneficial for clients with Substance Abuse issues
- Explain how AAT can benefit the Aging Population
- Explain how AAT can be beneficial in a Medical setting
- Identify how AAT can be incorporated into a Speech and Language therapy setting
- Describe how AAT can be incorporate into a Physical and Occupation therapy setting
- List specific health considerations that must be factored into client interaction with animals in a medical setting
- Describe different ways AAT can be incorporated into a group counseling setting
- Explain the “inner Zoo” and how to have animals as co-therapists in Group Settings.
- Describe how to secure training for Distance Counseling and how to have Animals as Co-therapists in Distance Counseling (Telemental Health).
- Explain how to write a treatment plan with goals and objectives utilizing AAT
- Describe various AAIs that relate to building empathy with clients
- Describe various AAIs that relate to developing emotional regulation skills with clients
- Describe various AAIs that relate to creating a corrective attachment experience for clients
- Describe various AAIs that relate to developing client self-esteem
- Describe various AAIs that relate to working with anxious clients
- Describe various AAIs that relate to working with depressed clients
- Describe various AAIs that relate to working with clients who have ADHD
- Explain the importance of using outcome measures in AAT
- Identify the different types of outcome measures that can be used to measure the effectiveness of AAT interventions
1. Forum Posts: You will be required to make some forum posts for the course.
2. You will be required to complete writing assignments with the required reading in order to demonstrate understanding of the material.
3. The following required reading material is NOT provided to you with the purchase of this program.
- Fine, A.H. (2019). Animal Assisted Therapy: Theoretical Foundations and Guidelines for Practice-Fourth Edition. London, UK.
- Levinson, B.M. and Mallon, G.P. (1997). Pet-Oriented Child Psychotherapy. Charles C Thomas Publishing, Springfield, IL.
- Parish-Plass, N. (2013). Animal-Assisted Psychotherapy Theory, Issues and Practice. Purdue University.
- Brisch, Karl Heinz (2011) Treating Attachment Disorders: From Theory to Therapy
- Kohanov (2003). Riding Between the Worlds: Expanding Our Potential Through The Way of the Horse
- Burch, M.R. and Bailey, J.S. (1999). How Dogs Learn. Wiley Publishing Inc., New York, NY.
This reading material can be purchased on www.amazon.com (Just type in title and/or author of the book)
4. The final project requires you to create a presentation (using PowerPoint or an equivalent presentation software) to communicate your cumulative learning within the program. The details of this project are explained in the course.
From the time of registration, you have six months to access and complete the coursework.
Credit Hours: These courses offer a total of 64 credit hours
Counselors: Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No, 6693. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0048. Approval renewal date: 1/31/2026
Marriage and Family Therapists: Many MFT licensing boards accept our courses or one of the approvals which we have from professional associations. You can check with your board to determine if this course would be accepted by your licensing board.
Social Workers: Telehealth Certification Institute LLC, #1609, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Telehealth Certification Institute LLC maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 05/02/2021 – 05/02/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 64 clinical continuing education credits.
Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0435. Approval renewal date: 2/28/2026
Addiction Professionals: Telehealth Certification Institute is an approved provider of continuing education by NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, provider #193104. Full attendance is required; no partial credit will be awarded for partial attendance.
Psychologists: Telehealth Certification Institute LLC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Telehealth Certification Institute LLC maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0128. Effective 8/31/2021 – 8/31/2024
Art Therapists: Telehealth Certification Institute, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed creative arts therapists #CAT-0093. 7/21/2021 – 7/31/2024
Other Professionals: This course qualifies for 3840 minutes of instructional content as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Retain your certificate of completion and contact your board or organization for specific filing requirements
This is a non-interactive, self-study course.
To receive your certificate of completion you must complete each course in its entirety.
To complete an Online Self Study Course, one must register, log in, select the My Courses option from the menu items, click the Course Title, complete all of the requirements, complete and pass the post-test(s), and complete the course evaluation.
Psychologists and other professionals seeking CE credit through our approval with the American Psychological Association are asked, but not required, to complete the course evaluation before obtaining their certificate of completion, however passing a post-test for online self-study courses, and submitting one's attendance for live on-site and live webinars is required.
You can download or print your certificate of completion by logging into your account, navigating to the course by selecting the My Courses option from the menu items, clicking the Course Title, scrolling to the Certificate of Completion section, and clicking on the Certificate of Completion link to either download it or print it.
Directions for completing a course can be found by clicking here.
In addition to this course bundle, Part Two (the live intensive course) of the full AAT-I program is required to earn the 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 8 courses:
- The History of ATT and ATT Principles, 4 CE hours
- AAT Competencies and Multicultural Considerations, 7 CE hours
- Animals as Co-Therapists: Selection, Behavioral, and Training Considerations, 2 CE hours
- Introduction to Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy, 13 CE hours
- Animals as Co-Therapists: Blending Animal Interventions with a Range of Professional Theoretical Orientations, 11 CE hours
- Animals as Co-Therapists: Exploring Animal Assisted Interventions Across Professions, Settings, and Populations, 17 CE hours
- Developing Treatment Plans and Tracking Outcomes, 10 CE hours
- (Not included in this course bundle) Weekend Intensive (Onsite in NC), 21 CE Hours (Plans for a virtual/remote Intensive are underway for those who cannot attend onsite.)
This consists of 7 non-interactive self-study courses. Teaching methods for the course include recorded lectures, videos, text readings, assignments, and online discussion. Textbooks are not provided with course enrollment and require separate purchase.