What is Animal Assisted Intervention?

Animal Assisted Intervention (AAI) is a type of therapy that involves animals as a form of treatment. The goal of AAI is to improve a patient’s social, emotional, or cognitive functioning. There is growing popularity for Animal Assistance Intervention treatments for many conditions in the scientific fields of nursing, medicine, and psychotherapy.

The term that refers to these Interventions has recently shifted from therapy to intervention. The types of intervention vary considerably, from long term pet adoption plans where patients adopt pets, to shorter term structured interactions between patients and a trained animal. Additionally, Animal Assisted Intervention and Animal Assisted Therapy is increasingly being used to enhance the natural development of children and provide therapeutic care for the elderly. Animal Assisted Intervention services benefit children, adolescents, adults and older people with mental health needs, physical or learning disabilities, to achieve increased health, wellbeing and quality of life.

Animal Assisted Intervention animals are selected by trained staff on temperament grounds to provide therapeutic visits to hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, special needs schools, prisons, etc. Animal Assisted Intervention is also used in the management of both developmental conditions in children and in the rehabilitation of offenders, as well as providing therapy for child and adult disabilities and diseases.

Animal Courses Direct has worked in partnership with world leading Animal Assisted Intervention organisations to develop the first Ofqual regulated qualification in this subject. The Level 3 Diploma in Animal Assisted Intervention is of benefit to those wanting to work or volunteer in this growing field of Animal Assisted Intervention. This Level 3 qualification consists of theory and practical training and involves approximately 370 hours of learning and 2 intensive practical training days. This Ofqual regulated qualification meets the Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) Higher Standard requirements and is designed to enhance employment prospects in this sector.

Through this Animal Assisted Intervention qualification, students gain an understanding of animal assisted intervention and animal assisted activities and how these therapies work.

The course explores training and selection methods used for different types of therapy animals and the protocols that are critically important to ensuring the welfare of therapy animals.

Various animals can be used for animal assisted intervention. Dogs are most commonly used as they are easier to take into nursing homes, schools, hospitals, prisons, hospices etc; where-as cats are more likely to find the experience stressful and try to escape. However, all sorts of companion animals are utilised for therapy including horses, reptiles, rabbits, ferrets, etc. All assisted intervention animals are assessed for behavioural and temperament to ensure that they will react well to new and potentially unpredictable situations. Animal Assisted Intervention animals must be calm and comfortable interacting with people - needless to say, it is important that the animal also gains positively from the process.

Please contact visit our website ( www.animalcoursesdirect.co.uk) or phone Animal Courses Direct for more information about this qualification: 0208 432 4075

Animal Therapy Magazine