What is Animal Assisted Play Therapy or AAPT?
AAPT is the integration of two therapeutic modalities: play therapy and animal-assisted therapy. AAPT’s main goal is to facilitate therapeutic change with the child and dog through a playful relationship.
A Formal Definition from the literature:
“The integrated involvement of animals in the context of play therapy, in which appropriately-trained therapists and animals engage with children & families primarily in play interventions aimed at improving the child’s psychosocial health AND the animal’s well-being.”
Source: Play Therapy with Kids and Canines by Rise VanFleet
Below are some concerns that the child, therapist and play therapy dog may work on together:
- Attachment/Relationship/Social Skills
- Empathy Development
- Self-Regulation of Emotions & Behaviors
- Problem Solving
- Anxiety, Fears, Phobias
- Anger Management/Aggressive Tendencies
If you feel that AAPT may be a therapy option for your child, contact us!