Animal-Assisted Play Therapy® -Meeting Clients’ Therapeutic Goals One Paw at a Time! – Tara Moser

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Animal-Assisted Play Therapy® -Meeting Clients’ Therapeutic Goals One Paw at a Time! by Tara Moser,
Salepage link: At HERE. Archive:

Tara Moser
6 Hours 14 Minutes
Audio and Video
Feb 21, 2020


Have you ever considered practicing Animal Assisted Play Therapy® (AAPT), but are unsure if it’s the right fit for your practice? Maybe you are interested, but you’re intimidated and don’t know where to start. Or, you already bring your animal to work, but are not confident in your ability to implement appropriate AAPT interventions. If you answered yes, this Animal Assisted Play Therapy® (AAPT) program is for you!

While integrating animals into therapy provides significant value to the therapeutic process – from beneficial hormonal release in both the client and the animal, to building trust, emotional regulation, and positive attachment with our clients – it is unwise and potentially hazardous without proper training. AAPT requires a complex set of skills, such as knowing how to:

  • Properly select and prepare your animal for therapy;
  • Determine if your animal and client are the right fit for each other;
  • Align client’s therapy goals to the appropriate AAPT interventions; and
  • Detect signs of stress and resignation in animal’s body language.

Watch Tara Moser, LCSW, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor and Certified Animal Assisted Play Therapist Supervisor, in this recording and learn to successfully integrate animal-assisted therapy with play therapy. Under Tara’s expert guidance we will focus on the therapist-animal-client relationship, use of humor and play to enhance therapy, and well-being of your client and animal. We will discuss how AAPT is grounded in well-established theories and practices in terms of child development, clinical intervention, play therapy, family therapy, and humane animal treatment.

Tara will help you take your practice to the next level as she teaches you how to align client’s therapy goals to the appropriate AAPT interventions for improved outcomes with:

  • Trauma and attachment
  • Anger and aggression
  • Social-emotional regulation
  • Social-communication skills
  • Empathy and patience
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Trust and building rapport
  • Impulsivity and self-control
  • Boundaries, stress and fear

Through case studies, video demonstration and dynamic discussion you will end this recording with the skills and confidence to integrate dogs, cats and various other animals into your practice.



Animal-Assisted Play Therapy®​ (AAPT): A Relationship-Based Approach

  • Latest research: Hormone release, sensory response
  • Types of Animal-Assisted Therapies (AAT)
  • The importance of speaking the language of the animal
  • Client and animal therapeutic relationship building
  • Lessons learned from animals in therapeutic settings

Preparing Animal for Therapy Work

  • Is my animal cut out to do therapy work?
  • Tips to socialize your animal with other animals and humans
  • The “must have” AAT education
  • Selecting an animal species and breed
  • Positive-based training: Clicker work, lure/reward, shaping, and modeling

Align Client’s Therapeutic Goals to Appropriate AAPT Intervention

  • Varied animal roles and why it’s important to know the difference
  • Directive vs. non-directive interactions between client and animal
  • Align animal’s personality and interests with client’s needs
  • What sessions look like with an animal present: Video case examples
  • When to/when not to include animals in therapy
  • Options for when an animal isn’t appropriate or available

Apply AAPT to Treatment Goals for Clients with:

  • Trauma and attachment
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Anger and aggression
  • Trust and building rapport
  • Social-emotional regulation
  • Impulsivity and self-control
  • Social-communication skills
  • Setting boundaries
  • Empathy and patience
  • Stress and fear

AAPT in Clinical Work … From Start to Finish

  • Integrate AAPT with modalities you already use
  • Work through therapeutic goals to meet treatment plan with an animal present
  • Follow the lead of the animal and the client to process the clients’ needs
  • Determine what theories backed your animal involved interactions

Give Your Animal a Voice in Therapy

  • Animal body language: Signs of stress and resignation
  • ”No thanks, I’m not having fun anymore!” and what to do next
  • Strategies to help your animal relax and destress
  • Decrease burnout of your animal
  • Alternatives to when animals not present

Other Clinical Considerations

  • Client rights and when not to involve an animal
  • Informed consent
  • Documentation
  • Liability Insurance and waivers
  • Research, risks and limitations


Tara Moser, LCSW, RPT-S, CAAPT-S Related seminars and products: 1

Delta Family Counseling, LLC

Tara Moser, LCSW, RPT-S, CAAPT-S, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Florida, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, and Certified Animal Assisted Play Therapist Supervisor. She owns a private practice that specializes in play therapy and Animal-Assisted Play Therapy®. Tara is the founder of Pawsitive Kids Camp, a non-profit that integrates play therapy and Animal-Assisted Play Therapy® with rescue dogs and children. She has served in a variety of therapeutic capacities, including non-profit individual and family counseling, foster care, elementary school-based counseling programs, behavioral therapy for autism, drug intervention and prevention, supervised visitation, and domestic violence counseling.

Tara has created play therapy courses for local universities and taught as an adjunct professor. She travels the country training on play therapy and Animal-Assisted Play Therapy® to mental health, rehab, and medical professionals, educators, and parents. Tara is a graduate and past chair of APT’s Leadership Academy and has served on numerous APT committees, including Ethics and Practice, Nominations Board, Conference Program, Leadership Program, and Key Awards. She is the President for the Florida Association for Play Therapy. She has served locally and most recently as vice president for NASW-Florida, in which retaining members was a goal along with retention. Tara’s professional excellence has been recognized by the SW Florida Unit of NASW as 2009 Social Worker of the Year and 2017 Field Educator of the Year. She was also awarded the 2009 Viola Brody Award by FAPT. Tara and her team of therapists are often called for debriefing on Animal-Assisted Play Therapy® across the state. She is the co-author of an award-winning children’s book, Bode the Beach Dog: Life is RUFF!, a book to help children overcome fear.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Tara Moser is the owner of Delta Family Counseling. She has an ownership interest in the Florida Association for Play Therapy; and The Beach Dog. She receives a speaking fee from the International Institute for Animal Assisted Play Therapy. Ms. Moser receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Tara Moser is a member of the Association for Play Therapy.

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