IAAAP – The Israeli Association of Animal-Assisted Psychotherapy

The Israeli Association of Animal-Assisted Psychotherapy, a non-profit foundation, was established in 2007 to serve as the professional association for animal-assisted psychotherapists in Israel. The members of the IAAAP are responsible for evaluating the psychological needs of the client, providing psychotherapy according to these needs, counseling parents and others who are in contact with the child, providing supervision and conducting research. Animal-assisted psychotherapy (AAP) is appropriate for clients of all ages (children, adolescents, adults) who suffer from emotional, behavioral and/or psychiatric problems.

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Israel is among the leaders in the world in the area of Animal-Assisted Psychotherapy, both in terms of its academic training and its prevalence in clinical settings. Israeli academicians and clinicians are also making significant contributions to the area though their publication of both theory and research in highly respected journals. We have now established IAAAP (The Israeli Association of Animal-Assisted Psychotherapy), a professional association in the field that demands high standards for acceptance for membership – 1100 hours of academic coursework (beyond a B.A.) in a recognized clinical training program, 750 hours of field work that includes 400 hours of direct therapy, and weekly clinical supervision. Along with our stated goals (see the opening page of this site for our goals) we hope that the activities of IAAAP will lead to governmental recognition of the field, the establishment of Masters level programs, and contact with Animal-Assisted Psychotherapists, programs and associations around the world.

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Roles of Animals in AAP 

This is a working draft of ideas put forth in a meeting of animal-assisted psychotherapists in Israel who were interested in defining an animal's unique contribution to psychotherapy. There is some repetition throughout the paper since the subjects cited are not mutually exclusive and are artificially separated. We see this as a work-in-progress and hope it will be used to stimulate the academic exchange of ideas, theoretical writing, and research, in order to further the academic understanding, as well as the clinical use, of Animal-Assisted Psychotherapy throughout the world. Please reference this document if you use our ideas in academic settings and/or writing. We would enjoy any comments, thoughts and additions you may have to what we have written here.

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 1. One will be considered an Animal-Assisted Psychotherapist if one has fulfilled the requirements of professional academic and field training according to the requirements determined by the Israeli Association of Animal-Assisted Psychotherapy, and in the future according to requirements determined through the recognition of a governmental body.

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