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Brooks College of Health

Experiential Counseling

Experiential Counseling provides clients with opportunities to actively engage in an experience other than conventional talk therapy during their counseling sessions. Some examples include music therapy, art therapy, and animal-assisted therapy. Many PERCH counselors incorporate art and other experiential modalities in their sessions with clients, such as counseling sessions on the Osprey Challenge Course. PERCH also started Campus Canines, an Animal-Assisted Interventions program that teams counselors with registered therapy dogs and certified handlers in both individual and group settings for students on campus.

Adventure Based Counseling

students on rope courseUNF Recreation and Wellness and OspreyPERCH have partnered to offer Adventure Based Counseling (ABC) as a resource to UNF students. Not everyone benefits from traditional psychotherapy. The ABC program is a non-traditional way of helping our students’ mental health. 

In conjunction with the Recreation and Wellness programs, ABC offers a wide range of activities to support UNF students in achieving positive therapeutic outcomes such as self-esteem, judgment, conflict resolution, decision-making, communication skills, and positive social affiliations among many others. 

This partnership, with Recreation and Wellness, allows access to their facilities and programs including the Osprey Challenge Course, Eco Adventure’s kayaking/canoeing/paddleboarding, the Nature Preserve, the Ogier Garden, and the Osprey Cliff.  Students are able to utilize these Recreation and Wellness resources with the clinical support of a Graduate level clinical mental health counselor or social worker.

To contact our office and learn more about Adventure Based Counseling or to schedule an appointment, email

Campus Canines

Hopper dog and studentCampus canines is an Animal-Assisted Interventions program aimed at providing mental health resources to students. Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) utilizes the human-animal bond within a therapeutic process, enabling clients to break down barriers and build trust with counselors by working with an animal during talk therapy. Animal-assisted therapy has been proven to lower depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms. Campus Canines Teams meet biweekly at the library during the regular semester and at various mental health “pop-up” events around campus throughout the academic year. During an average library visit, the Campus Canines team is able to provide therapeutic interventions as well as resources to 250 students.

Equine-Based Therapy

Girl cuddling with horse while standingAnimal-assisted therapy (AAT) partners trained and registered animals, mental health professionals with specialized expertise, and paraprofessionals with patients/clients to enhance physical, emotional, and social well-being. AAT is a form of mental health counseling and can either be provided as the sole form of counseling a patient/client receives or may be used in conjunction with other behavioral healthcare services. At UNF HEALTH (Hub for Equine Assisted Learning and Therapy), AAT is provided in partnership with a herd of equines.

Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is a specific type of AAT, pairing a licensed therapist with expertise in working with horses and humans either with or as an Equine Specialist to facilitate human change through the horse/human relationship. AAT and EAP are forms of therapy under the larger umbrella of Nature-based Therapeutics (NBT).

UNF HEALTH is a program that educates and trains mental health counseling and social work interns and post-graduate fellows to facilitate equine-assisted psychotherapy. At times during the academic year, equine psychotherapy groups are held at the farm, providing therapy to UNF students who are referred to the program. At UNF HEALTH, equine-assisted psychotherapy is facilitated by a mental health clinician, partnering with a horse and specialized paraprofessionals to promote physical, emotional, and social well-being. Equine-assisted psychotherapy can be provided as the sole form of counseling or in conjunction with other behavioral healthcare services. Equine-based Therapy provides the client with the advantages of being outdoors while working with a horse and builds behavioral skills that can carry over into other areas of the client’s life.