VISTAS Animal Assisted Therapy

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Fido and Freud Meet: Integrating Animal-Assisted Interventions With Counseling Theory

Laura Bruneau and Amy Johnson


Current research on animal-assisted interventions (AAI) is expansive and rapidly growing, affirming a host of physical, physiological, and psychological benefits when integrated into the counseling process. This modality harnesses the power of the human-animal bond, providing benefit to the client and the counselor-client relationship. Given the mental health needs of the juvenile justice population, the use of innovative, creative modalities is needed. By integrating counseling theory and AAI, this manuscript grounds the practice of AAI while highlighting examples with adjudicated youth.

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