Is becoming an animal assisted therapist right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do animal assisted therapists do?
What are animal assisted therapists like?

Still unsure if becoming an animal assisted therapist is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become an animal assisted therapist or another similar career!

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How to become an Animal Assisted Therapist

Becoming an animal assisted therapist typically requires a combination of education, training, and experience. Here are some steps you may take to pursue a career in this field:

  • Obtain education and training: An animal assisted therapist typically has a background in a relevant field, such as psychology, counseling psychology, or social work. A master's degree or higher is usually required in these fields.
  • Gain experience: Many animal assisted therapists start by volunteering or working in animal assisted therapy programs. This can be a good way to gain exposure to the field and develop the skills and knowledge you'll need to become a professional.
  • Become certified: Certification in animal assisted therapy is not required, but it can demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the field. Some organizations, such as the Delta Society, offer certification programs for animal assisted therapists.
  • Train and evaluate therapy animals: To be an effective animal assisted therapist, you'll need to have experience working with therapy animals and an understanding of the principles of animal behavior and welfare. You'll also need to evaluate and train therapy animals to ensure they are well-behaved, friendly, and safe to work with.
  • Establish a professional network: Building relationships with other animal assisted therapists, healthcare professionals, and animal welfare organizations can help you stay current with the latest developments in the field and expand your professional opportunities.
  • Maintain professional standards: To provide the best possible care to your patients, it's important to adhere to ethical and professional standards, such as maintaining patient confidentiality and continuing education to stay current with advances in the field.

This is a general overview of the steps involved in becoming an animal assisted therapist. Depending on the specific circumstances of your situation, you may need to take additional steps or make different decisions.