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.
Animal-Assisted Therapy: Best Practices for College Counseling
Julia F. Kronholz, Vanessa F. Freeman, and Randi C. Mackintosh
The growing prevalence of mental health concerns among college students, combined with a reduction in college counseling center resources, has generated a need for innovative service delivery approaches to assist students. One such approach is the inclusion of animal-assisted therapy in counseling services and campus outreach programming. This manuscript first offers an overview of the history of animal-assisted therapy and provides a review of empirical studies supporting the use of animals in counseling services. Following, the efforts of one university counseling center to integrate animals into the service-delivery model are described. This paper concludes with resources for more information regarding animal-assisted therapy and considerations for college counseling center staff.
Keywords: animal-assisted therapy, college counseling, campus outreach, outreach programming