ESA Training: PESI Animal-Assisted Interventions: Integrate Animals to Enhance Treatment in Clinical Practice

Join animal-assisted therapy expert Brooke Wimer, MOT, OTR/L, and learn how incorporating animals into your professional activities can greatly improve client outcomes in a surprisingly broad range of areas, including:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety levels and lower blood pressure
  • Lessen feelings of loneliness and poor self-esteem in those with trauma and anxiety
  • Treat symptoms in people dealing with depression and PTSD
  • Develop empathy in those with conduct disorder and antisocial personality disorder
  • Improve physical function in people recovering from a stroke
  • Improve reading and comprehension in children with learning disabilities
  • And more!

You will receive specific examples of animal-assisted therapeutic goals in a variety of functional areas. You will develop a toolbox of animal-assisted interventions and animal-focused treatments you can employ the very next day. This seminar also includes the latest research outcomes and a solid foundational knowledge about the human-animal emotional bond. You will also discover very practical information and resources to help you develop programming and implement your own animal-assisted interventions.


  1. Identify evidence-based research outcomes regarding animal-assisted interventions.
  2. Implement animal-assisted interventions for people with mental health disorders including anxiety, depression, bipolar, schizophrenia and personality disorders.
  3. Design animal-assisted interventions to increase language and literacy in children with learning disorders.
  4. Design animal assisted interventions to address physical and occupational challenges.
  5. Employ animal-assisted interventions as a modality to treat people with dementia and other cognitive disorders.
  6. Apply knowledge to design your own animal assisted programming.
  7. Explain the difference between a therapy animal, a service animal and an emotional support animal.


Brief Overview

  • Human-animal emotional bond
  • Therapy animal vs. service animal
  • Animal-assisted therapy, activities and education
  • Handler vs. clinician, clinician-animal teams
  • Animal-based interventions without an animal

Mindfulness of Animals and How it Helps the Human Brain

  • The neuroscience of the human-animal bond
  • Why zebras don’t get ulcers
  • Benefits of owning a companion animal

Interventions and Treatment Goals/Outcomes

  • Mental, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral issues
    • Increase attendance and engagement in sessions
    • Treat symptoms related to trauma, anxiety and depression
    • Decrease loneliness and improve self-esteem
    • Develop empathy and encourage outward focus
    • Provide hope, meaning and purpose
  • Challenges with learning
    • Improve reading and comprehension
    • Support vocabulary development
    • Increase verbal interactions
  • Physical and occupational issues
    • Progress fine and gross motor skills
    • Improve sitting/standing balance
    • Increase endurance and activity tolerance
    • Facilitate improved sensory processing

Components of Animal-Assisted Intervention

  • Selecting appropriate recipients for care
  • How to approach clients
  • Interaction techniques for client and animal
  • Closure, documentation

Start Your Own Animal-Assisted Program

  • Animal qualifications and characteristics
  • Qualifications for clinicians
  • Preparing and caring for the animal
  • When the animal shows signs of stress and agitation
  • Protecting your practice through risk management
  • Organizations and resources for starting your animal-assisted program

Continuing Education Credits

Save time and $10 off the price of other submission methods – purchase & take the CE test online for $9.99 USD per participant. Additional processing fees apply for other submission methods (i.e. mail, fax, etc.). Please contact our Customer Service at 1-800-844-8260 for more details.

The DVD is $99 and the CE costs $9.99.

Order here.