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Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling Certificate


The Graduate Certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling (AAT-C) consists of 3 courses and provides specialized training and supervised practice in the ethical and humane inclusion of animals in the psychotherapeutic environment by credentialed mental health professionals. The curriculum is in alignment with the American Counseling Association (ACA) AAT-C Competencies of Practice. The AAT-C certificate may be completed by Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) students using the available 9 credits of elective coursework in the CMHC program of study. It is also open to School Counseling, Social Work, and Psychology graduate students pursuing a clinical learning track and/or post-graduate healthcare professionals for whom counseling or psychotherapy is part of their regular scope of practice.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the UNF Graduate Certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling will be able to:

  • Interpret and apply the ACA AAT-C Competencies to practice in the CMHC setting
  • Implement processes necessary to gain species-specific registrations needed for ethical practice
  • Outline animal welfare risks inherent in the utilization of animals in the counseling setting
  • Analyze attitudes, beliefs and acculturative experiences through experiential learning actives that foster student understanding of self, counselor identity and ethical practice especially with culturally diverse clients
  • Carry out ethical AAT-C practice congruent with identified evidence-based theories of counseling for assessment and interventions for treatment, personal growth, and wellness