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Brooks College of Health

Integrative Behavioral Health Clinical Training Center

Dramatically increasing rates of suicide, substance abuse and opioid-related deaths are daily reminders of the suffering of our populations nationwide. Meanwhile, the workforce critical to addressing these issues is plagued by provider shortages, gaps in knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to work with the most challenging populations in the public and private sector. Fewer providers are choosing to begin their career in a state, federal or private non-profit community mental health agency creating a crisis within a crisis for the societal safety net responsible for responding to our most vulnerable populations. Locally, five counties in the Greater Jacksonville/Northeast Florida community are designated as a “High Needs Geographic Health Provider Shortage Areas” according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The UNF Integrative Behavioral Health Clinical Training Center (IBH Center) is the initiative, serving as a gateway to academic and clinical collaborations designed to assist agencies, government programs, professional organizations and health and wellness providers.

Our model of training and practice is centered around holistic healthcare interventions. Integrating spirituality, creativity, animals, nature, exercise, and nutrition as “medicine” is a common ground to which all healthcare disciplines can collaborate between various providers and lead us to increased competency in integrated holistic health practice. Treating the whole person instead of just their disease or diagnosis is the new paradigm shown to have compelling evidence supporting personal and community wellbeing.

Center Mission

Bring individuals, organizations, and academic programs together in a coordinated and sustainable effort, creating opportunities for and eliminating barriers to healthcare integration and innovation. Thus, ensuring holistic health and wellness is attainable for healthcare providers and the communities they serve.


Goals of IBH-CTC

  • Shift treatment approach to health and wholeness focus.
  • Sustainable practices, existing within the current third-party reimbursement structure.
  • Develop a resilient, connected, grounded workforce encouraging provider identity development while promoting an interprofessional team approach.
  • Reduce clinical staffing shortages by providing a toolbox of integrative healthcare practices and reducing staff burn out.
integrative behavioral health clinical training center jaxperch counseling our communities post-masters ibh certificate animal-assisted interventions in healthcare expressive arts and creativity in healthcare
  • Community-Engaged Programs and Services

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    A community agency collaborative

    JaxPERCH is a collaboration between the UNF Brooks College of Health and other collaborating academic institutions working with local community mental/behavioral and physical health non-profit agencies serving persons who experience health disparity and live with differing abilities.

    JaxPERCH member agencies work collaboratively with other interprofessional community members to expand creative and innovative practices, offer training internships and fellowships. Some JaxPERCH agencies offer paid fellowship employment and support for tuition and fees to complete the IBH Post-Master’s Certificate for qualified candidates.

    This collaborative partnership will connect advanced clinical training, inter-professional collaboration and integrative and integrated healthcare experiential practices to address the critical shortage of qualified mental health providers needed across Florida.

    Also provides “boots on the ground” approach in having professors and program leaders collaborating with community providers.

    First in Northeast Florida, then based on empirical research, expand through U.S.

    JaxPERCH Integrative Behavioral Health Practices Fellowship

    • Fellowships offer supported work experience.
    • Holistic focused team approach.
    • Three-year commitment recommended
    • Agency employing fellow covers employee compensation and many cover tuition as well.
    • Individual clinical supervision provided by the agency.
    • Fellows are supported by UNF faculty and agency staff where they work and receive 50% of required supervision or licensure through multidisciplinary case staffing/consultation

    JaxPERCH Collaborative Partners - Serving North East Florida


    florida map highlighting nassau duval baker clay st johns alachua putnam flagler marion volusia counties



    Community Health and Wellness Practices and Events

    Holistic health and wellness events bring UNF students studying for careers in healthcare out of the classroom and into the real world to work with people need. Working alongside faculty, students see up close the challenges of mental and physical health when there is socio-economic and healthcare disparity.

    This community service provides experiential practice in communities of high need with health promotion, education, screening, early intervention, and referral to available providers for long-term care.

    • Fall 2023 – New Town and Grand Park
    • Spring 2024 – Edward Waters College
    • Dates and locations for 2024-2025 to be determined


    Community Engaged Programs in Human-Animal Interactions and Interventions in Healthcare and Education

    Through numerous unique programs, UNF offers opportunities for experiential engagement with animals on the UNF campus and supports JaxPERCH Community Partners in developing Animal-Assisted Service (AAS) programs, including Animal-Assisted/Equine Assisted Treatment programs.

    On campus programs include:

    • Campus Canines:
      More than a dozen handlers and their dogs participate in Campus Canines, an all-volunteer group of Pet Partners Inc. registered therapy dog/handler teams, providing Animal-Assisted Support (AAS). The canines frequently visit UNF students in the library and at the student union on Market Days. Many colleges have regular visiting “Campus Canines in Residence” dedicated to students in specific colleges.

      Qualified faculty and/or senior administrators can take the AAS courses and work with our faculty to build a partnership with a (faculty) dog that extends their work on campus. Appropriately called a “Scholars with a Collar”.

      Animal Assisted Education (AAE) includes animals and/or animal environments as an integral component of the curriculum, classroom experience, and/or a specific intervention intending to positively impact the learning and/or educational experience of the student(s). AAE utilizes experiential education theories as the foundation for efficacy and validity for the practice.

    Off campus programs include:

    • Equine Assisted Education @ Paramount Adaptive Riding Center, Yulee, FL

      Equine Assisted Education at UNF includes the relationship and experience with horses to teach interpersonal skills, leadership, and professional identity. Clinical students can also learn about the practice of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Hippotherapy – Physical Therapy with Horses.

    Community agency collaborative programs include:

  • Counseling Our Communities
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    Counseling Our Communities IBH Workshop

    This 30-hour hybrid workshop includes 22 hours distance learning, 8 hours in a live experiential workshop session practicing interactive and holistic health interventions.

    The workshop provides an introductory level of competence in integrated and integrative behavioral health practices suitable for post-baccalaureate students and master’s level students, entering or working in community mental health agencies as clinicians. Each person completing the workshop successfully will receive a digital badge to advertise their level of training. Additional training and competency badges are also available to be earned during the academic year.

    Workshop Description

    This workshop has been created to prepare post-baccalaureate and current behavioral health master’s students for entry into their internship, ideally with a JaxPERCH Community Agency. The workshop targets knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors necessary for success in a public/private community mental health center by introducing the PERCH Foundation of clinical practice.

    The PERCH Model of Clinical Practice

    Spans Prevention and Early Intervention to impede the development of more serious illness, to building Resiliency through the integration of Counseling and Holistic Health practices, thereby preparing providers to treat the whole person and the systems in which they live, work, and play. It is a first step for students interested in exploring Integrative Behavioral Health strategies.Upon completion of this workshop and the post-workshop evaluation survey, students committing to interning in an approved community agency could receive up to $1,000 scholarship (restrictions apply). Once students complete the workshop , other experiential learning activities and meet ups are offered with the IBH Clinical Faculty.

    Workshop Objectives

    • Build a supportive community container for those working in community agencies.
    • Identify and connect to a personal mission for helping others through clinical services.
    • Join a holistic practice model with traditional medical treatment approaches to improve efficacy, resiliency, and provider satisfaction.
    • Enter the community agency setting with professionalism and confidence.
    • Creatively explore and connect how to incorporate theory into practice.
    • Connect the science of assessment, case conceptualization, and diagnosis to the art of intake, informed consent, and rapport building through the lens of holism.
    • Recognize the importance of interpreting the narrative story into clinical thought and language.


    Open to anyone post-baccalaureate working in a community behavioral health setting or current master’s student in behavioral health disciplines from any university in any geographic location.


    Applications are accepted throughout the year. Student may register for the next forming cohort by following the link below. The CoC on-line curriculum is hosted by UNF’s Division of Continuing Education, who handles registration and provides certificates and badges upon completion.

    The workshop is hybrid with the course opening each September. Students may complete the on-line modules at their own pace as long as the first two (of 4) are completed prior to the in person experiential day workshop. At least two options are open for the 1-day LIVE experiential workshop, the first in mid fall (Early October) and the other in late fall (Late November). Participants only need to complete ONE of the live experiential days. The in-person live session(s) will be held at the UNF Deerwood Campus, 9911 Old Baymeadows Road, Jacksonville, FL.

     Workshop Application


  • Academic Programs
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    Integrative Behavioral Health Post-Master's Certificate

    An advanced program for providers who want to be fully authentic in their practice. Specialties like spirituality, art and creativity, animals, and nature in healthcare are incorporated into practice. The emphasis is on recent graduates who are working as interns toward independent licensure, but open to all behavioral health providers seeking guidance and supervision in integrative behavioral health practices.

    • Two-year, 18-credit-hour, advanced practice certificate
    • Integrative healthcare practices, training to emerge as providers whose practice reflects their authenticity and commitment to holism.
    • Clinical supervision (for licensure if needed) provided by master clinicians in counseling and social work
    • Peer cohort support similar to graduate school
    • Specialty practices development including spirituality creativity, animals, nature and incorporating food and exercise as medicine in healthcare practice
    • Open to all master's and above-level providers, pre- and post-licensure but concentrates focused on support for new graduates working through Registered Intern status to achieve independent licensure.

    Graduate School Program Overview



    Animal-Assisted Services for Health and Education Graduate Certificate

    The Animal-Assisted Services for Health and Education provides exploration and supervised practice for entry level components of animal-assisted services.

    The UNF AAS for Health and Education Graduate Certificate uses the following as guidelines and teaching aids:

    The Animal-Assisted Services for Health and Education certificate program is available to anyone seeking graduate-level academic credit from an accredited academic institution. Students currently enrolled in The Graduate School at UNF, will not need to apply but may need to complete a change of major form to add the certificate program to their existing program of study.

    Students not currently enrolled in The Graduate School at UNF will need to apply for admission.

    Apply Now to The Graduate School

    Appropriate for Various Programs of Study:

    • Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) – fulfills 9 credit hours
    • Physical Therapy
    • Education
    • School Counseling
    • Social Work
    • Psychology

    Students who complete the UNF Graduate Certificate in Animal-Assisted Services for Health, Wellness and Education will be able to interpret and apply the Industry Standard Competencies to practice in the health, wellness and education settings.

    Student will be able to:
    • Examine the ethical and humane treatment of animals included in the therapeutic environment.
    • Demonstrate the use of creative modalities in the profession of counseling healthcare and education.
    • Apply intentionality in the inclusion of animals for healthcare, wellness, and education.
    • Investigate and utilize a variety of theories for practice.
    • Be able to experience the social and emotional impact of animal-assisted education via in-person equine-assisted learning sessions.


    Special Notes

    Certificate programs are not eligible for financial aid. Please visit the Department of Financial Aid for more information regarding eligibility.This course may be taken alone to gain a preliminary understanding of the intentional model of including animals in practice and is offered completely online. Students outside of the state of Florida will have to pay out-of-state tuition rates. 

    Application Deadlines

    Fall Term....................August 1
    Spring Term...............December 1
    Summer Term...........April 15

    Admission Requirements

    The following items must be submitted no later than the deadline posted above. Incomplete applications with outstanding requirements, or those post-marked after the posted deadline, are subject to cancellation. Once an application has been canceled, the decision cannot be reversed. Applicants may apply for the next application cycle. Students accepted into the program who do not register for that academic year will need to re-apply.

    • UNF admissions application
    • Application fee



    Proposed for Fall 2025

    Proposed Undergraduate Minor, Integrative Health, Wellness, and Fitness Practices (IHWFP)

    Overview of the proposed minor:

    The Proposed Integrative Health, Wellness, and Fitness Practices (IHWFP) Minor lays the educational groundwork for understanding integrative health practices. Integrative health, wellness, and fitness practices play vital roles in healthcare management, emphasizing a commitment to a comprehensive approach to well-being. Through their coursework in this proposed study, students may examine the prevalent forms of IHWFP, explore the cultural contexts of these practices, and scrutinize evidence-based and ethical applications of IHWFP.

  • Division of Continuing Education Collaborative Programs
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    AAS Professional Development Certificate

    Animal-Assisted Services Certificate Program

    The vision of the program creators is to promote the thoughtful and ethical practice of AAS by focusing on practitioner competency, quality client care, and optimal animal welfare and well-being.

    The UNF AAS program includes five consecutive 6-week courses and provides the knowledge, skills, and values needed for successful planning and implementation of AAS in a professional or volunteer capacity for all branches of animal assisted services (AAS) including animal assisted activity/support programs, animal assisted education, and animal assisted therapy/treatment.

    The curriculum caters to individual student interests with guidance in learning to navigate AAS literature, identify and access best practices, and gain practical skills for individuals or organizations to propose, evaluate, and develop an AAS program in the student’s choice of environments. The AAS program explores animal welfare practices, animal communication and behavior, session planning and implementation, program development and administrative requirements.

    This professional development certificate program is approaching its 20th anniversary with nearly 300 successful practitioners, creating a world-wide network of professionals demonstrating best practices. Upon successful completion of the University of North Florida’s Animal Assisted Services Certificate Program, individuals may use the credentials of a Certificate in Animal Assisted Services (AAS).

    Animal-Assisted Services Program Courses



    In the Footsteps of St. Francis 

    A wonderful opportunity for life-long learners, the UNF Department of Continuing Education has joined in collaboration with the Integrative Behavioral Health Center to develop this one-of-a-kind travel experience. This intriguing course focuses on understanding the unique way Italians benefit from living in harmony with nature, sharing experiences of food, culture, farming, art, music, and spirituality. You will walk the cobblestone streets where St. Francis experienced a young life of trouble and challenge to find his peace among the Franciscan brothers and the animals, he's so famous for befriending. It is a relaxing trip by design; and one filled with time for meaningful reflection. Watch the video on this next page and you'll see what we mean:

Application Deadlines

Integrative Behavioral Health
Post-Master's Certificate

Fall Term. . . . . . . . . . . August 1
Other Terms . . . . . TBD

Animal-Assisted Services for
Healthcare & Education

Fall Term. . . . . . . . . . . August 1
Spring Term . . . . . December 1

DCE Animal-Assisted
Professional Development Certificate

Fall Term. . . . . . . . . . . August 1
Spring Term . . . . . December 1

In the Footsteps of St. Francis

Trips are scheduled each April and September/October.

Dates and Deadlines

Contact Us 

Carlene Taylor Headshot

Dr. Carlene H. Taylor, LMHC-QS, ESMLH, ERYT
Clinical Assistant Professor,
Director, Integrative Behavioral Health Clinical Training Center
Building 39/2031
Phone: (904) 620-5716